Eric Clapton refuses to play at venues requiring proof of vaccination for audience

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The Washington Post 22 July, 2021 - 09:27am 21 views

“I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present,” Clapton said in a statement shared on the Telegram account of Robin Monotti, an Italian architect and fellow critic of the government’s response to covid-19. “Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show.”

The message was shared along with a link to “Stand and Deliver,” his anti-lockdown collaboration with Van Morrison. The song, described by the Los Angeles Times as “extremely meh,” asks, “Do you wanna be a free man / Or do you wanna be a slave?”

Clapton’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

His dismissal of the safety measure comes as live music is beginning to return to venues worldwide, signaling some normality despite rising concerns surrounding the highly contagious delta variant. In the United States, artists such as the Foo Fighters and Bruce Springsteen have put on concerts and Broadway shows, respectively, in which audience members were required to show proof of vaccination. Some have applied this to the ticket price of shows, such as a Florida concert promoter who offered $18 tickets to anyone who is vaccinated and charged $999.99 for everyone else.

Britain is a global hot spot for infections. The country’s seven-day rolling average of daily new reported cases is at 47,723, according to data compiled by The Washington Post — an increase of 28 percent in new cases in the last week. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised its covid-19 risk assessment for Britain to the highest level this week, and the State Department issued a do-not-travel advisory.

Despite a sharp rise in coronavirus cases propelled by the delta variant, there are far fewer deaths and hospitalizations in Britain.

On Monday, as the country ended almost all legal requirements to maintain coronavirus social distancing measures in England, Johnson urged venues and nightclubs to “proceed with caution,” noting the pandemic “is far from over.”

“I would remind everybody that some of life’s most important pleasures and opportunities are likely to be increasingly dependent on vaccination,” Johnson said. “There are already countries that require you to be double jabbed as a condition of quarantine-free travel, and that list seems likely to grow. And we are also concerned — as they are in other countries — by the continuing risk posed by nightclubs.”

Clapton, 76, has noted how he found anti-lockdown “heroes” such as British politician Desmond Swayne and Morrison, whose lyrics, he said, “echoed in my heart.” The guitar virtuoso also allegedly lent a van to a band that is performing throughout the United Kingdom to protest restrictions.

The backlash to his stance caused many on social media to resurface the racist diatribe he made at a 1976 concert in which he called to “keep Britain White.” (Clapton has blamed his substance addiction for his behavior, and has since expressed remorse.) He claimed in May that he experienced “disastrous” side effects after he took both doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, saying his “hands and feet were either frozen, numb or burning.”

“I feared I would never play again,” he wrote in a letter that was also shared to Monotti’s Telegram account. Clapton said he should “never have gone near the needle.”

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 74 percent effective against the alpha variant of coronavirus. A double dose of the vaccine was 67 percent effective against delta, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Regulators have said the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks. Short-term side effects for the vaccine include fatigue, fever, headache and muscle aches.

While Clapton’s next show in Britain isn’t until May 2022, he does have a handful of U.S. shows scheduled for September. The arenas in which he is scheduled to play in states such as Texas and Florida do not appear to be enforcing proof of vaccination for audience members.

Read full article at The Washington Post

Eric Clapton refuses to play venues if vaccinations are required

New York Post 22 July, 2021 - 08:55am

By Hannah Sparks

July 22, 2021 | 9:55am | Updated July 22, 2021 | 10:26am

Forget “Layla” — it might be Eric Clapton who’s wielding some foolish pride these days.

The 76-year-old classic rock guitarist, who has become infamous of late for his contentious hot takes on coronavirus “propaganda,” has announced that he will refuse to perform in any venues which require guests to have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The “Wonderful Tonight” singer made the announcement in response to a recent proclamation by British lawmakers calling for all citizens to present proof of vaccination before entering crowded events.

“Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show,” Clapton said in a statement — made via the Telegram app account of Italian architect Robin Monotti, The Guardian has reported. For his part, Monotti has taken a public stance against legally mandated vaccination.

The statement was published alongside a link to Clapton’s anti-lockdown song, “Stand and Deliver,” written with Van Morrison, 75. The lyrics include the line: “Do you wanna be a free man / Or do you wanna be a slave?”

Despite his apparent anti-vax campaign, Clapton received the AstraZeneca shot in February — and claimed to have suffered side effects so immense that he feared he “would never play again,” he told Rolling Stone in a statement, blaming “propaganda [that] said the vaccine was safe for everyone.”

“I’ve been a rebel all my life, against tyranny and arrogant authority, which is what we have now,” Clapton said at the time.

Reps for the “Tears in Heaven” Grammy winner did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

Meanwhile, in the six months since the first vaccine was introduced, an estimated 1.04 billion world citizens have taken up one of the three currently available vaccines against COVID-19 — AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech — and they’re working, studies have shown.

A recent Associated Press report revealed that just 0.8% of the 18,000 Americans who died of COVID-19 in May 2021 were fully vaccinated. And of more than 107,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations that same month, only 1.1% had their shots.

Compare that to May 2020, which ushered in approximately 705,000 new cases and saw 40,000 die from the disease.

Eric Clapton refuses to play shows where proof of vaccine is required

The US Sun 22 July, 2021 - 03:48am

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.

ERIC Clapton won't play shows where the attendees are required to prove they've been vaccinated against Covid.

The guitarist, 76, made the announcement after previously revealing his "disastrous" reaction to getting two vaccinations.

Eric shared his stance in reaction to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement that vaccine passes would be required to enter nightclubs and other venues.

“Following the PM’s announcement, I feel honor-bound to make an announcement of my own,” Eric said via a statement on architect and anti-vaxxer Robin Monotti Graziadei's Telegram account. 

“I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present.

"Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show.”

The musician added a link to his anti-lockdown song with Van Morrison, “Stand and Deliver.” 

The song features the lyrics: "Do you wanna be a free man / Or do you wanna be a slave?"

Eric has a handful of North American concerts scheduled for September and his next shows in the UK are in May 2022.

Back in May, he talked about the "severe" reactions he had to the Covid vaccine, revealing his hands and feet were "frozen, numb or burning" for two weeks.

“I took the first jab of AZ and straight away had severe reactions which lasted ten days. I recovered eventually and was told it would be twelve weeks before the second one," he revealed on Telegram.

"Needless to say the reactions were disastrous, my hands and feet were either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks.

"I feared I would never play again, (I suffer with peripheral neuropathy and should never have gone near the needle.)"

Eric claimed the safety of the vaccines had been overstated, writing: "But the propaganda said the vaccine was safe for everyone."

Eric Clapton

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