Concerts return to Utah with precautions

Concerts are returning to Utah venues after a long COVID-19 pause. COVID-19 vaccine and test requirements are in place at different venues. (Kristen Kerr)

Touring musicians are returning to the Wasatch Front as concert venues cautiously open their doors to excited fans after a long COVID-19 pause. 

This fall, venues will host a number of well-known artists and bands coming to perform around Utah. The summer’s eventful lineup included performances from Post Malone, Alan Jackson, Ritt Momney, Fitz and the Tantrums, Lindsey Stirling and Maroon 5. In the coming months, names such as Walk the Moon and Dan + Shay dot venues’ calendars. 

Some concert halls will require attendees to have proof of vaccinations or a negative COVID-19 test before a performance. For example, Eccles Theater will require a vaccination card or a negative test before audiences can attend this fall’s Amy Grant and Los Ángeles Azules concerts. 

“To keep everyone touring across the country without interruption and to protect the health and safety of fans, Live at the Eccles will require all fans to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test in order to attend our shows until further notice,” according to a Live at the Eccles Facebook post.

Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City announced on Sept. 24 that all guests ages 12 and older attending any event need to present proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event. These events include Utah Jazz games.

Both audiences and artists are thrilled about returning concerts, despite requirements. Jack Dudley, a junior at BYU who attended a Harry Styles concert in Las Vegas in August, noticed a substantial change in energy from pre-pandemic concerts he’s been to. 

“Harry gave a speech and talked in between songs. He really showed his gratitude to every attendee, because this was his first live performance for an audience in over two years and most of the audience hadn’t been to a concert, so the energy in the stadium was so universal, it was just so strong,” Dudley said. 

BYU students Jack Dudley and Cassidy Garrison pose at Harry Styles’ concert on Sept. 4, 2021. The performance was Styles’ inaugural concert, kicking off his “Love on Tour” tour. (Jack Dudley)

Concerts are also making a strong comeback in the local live music scene in Utah. Kilby Court, a venue in Salt Lake City, just returned to filling shows to full capacity in July 2021, according to venue owner Will Sartain.

Individual tours determine requirements to attend shows at Kilby Court. Sartain hopes all fans can return to live performances soon.

“Hopefully, we can kind of standardize everything so no one is feeling excluded or not willing to do what it takes to get into a show,” Sartain said. “[Live music] helps us tap into an emotional outlet that is pretty unique in a lot of people’s lives.”

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