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Pabst Theater Group will require proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test starting Sept. 1

Days after Summerfest outlined a protocol requiring either proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test, the Pabst Theater Group has announced it is following suit. The policy will be effective starting Sept. 1, but some shows before then will also have enhanced safety requirements. All staff at the venues' shows will be wearing masks as well, effective immediately.

"We owe it to our employees, patrons, artists, and our community to use whatever safety tools we have," the venues wrote in a statement today. "This isn’t a political statement; it’s recognition that the science is showing vaccines protect from the worst potential outcomes of Covid-19 ... If you want to enjoy a performance with us and thousands of others, you will demonstrate you’ve protected yourself, the people around you, and the community by taking the vaccine, or if you’re ineligible or choose not to be vaccinated, prove that you do not have Covid-19 when you join us."

The Pabst Theater | Photo credit: Melissa Miller

The new protocols are rapidly becoming an industry-wide standard, and many touring acts, including Japanese Breakfast and Jason Isbell, have said they will not play shows without them.

This week the Pabst Theater Group joined dozens of other Milwaukee businesses, restaurants, museums and arts organizations in making a statement strongly urging the entire community to get vaccinated. "The pandemic either completely closed or extremely limited all of our businesses for the last 18 months," Pabst Theater Group CEO Gary Witt said in a statement. "The vaccine is our way back and our voices are united as we seek to find a way to get safely back to doing the things that we all love to do -- without restriction."