LA Phil demands vax and masks, cancels youth events

LA Phil demands vax and masks, cancels youth events


norman lebrecht

August 16, 2021

The Los Angeles Philharmonic and Walt Disney Hall today promulgated one of the toughest safety regimes in the US.

Read this:

LOS ANGELES, AUGUST 16, 2021 – To enable the safest possible reopening for in-person indoor events, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association will require proof of full vaccination for all audience members, staff and artists at LA Phil-presented concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall beginning October 9, 2021. This policy will only be limited as required by law. The LA Phil will also follow the guidelines of the LA County Department of Public Health, which currently requires all persons to wear masks indoors.

Patrons must have received the final dose of a vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO) or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at least two weeks before entering Walt Disney Concert Hall for LA Phil-presented performances. Along with their ticket, attendees will need to bring a photo ID and either their physical vaccination card, a picture of their vaccination card or a digital vaccination record. All California residents may request a digital vaccination record at

Current ticket holders who will not be fully vaccinated by the date of their planned visit may receive a credit to their account or request a full refund of the cost of their tickets. Subscribers who choose not to renew their tickets this season will have their seat locations retained and the opportunity to renew them for the 2022/23 season.

Because children under the age of 12 are not currently eligible to receive the vaccine, the LA Phil is canceling the first two programs in its Toyota Symphony for Youth series, including The Composer is Dead (October 30 and November 6) and Ellington’s Nutcracker (December 4 and 11). 



  • Curvy Honk Glove says:

    Absolute brilliance! I’ve been saying for years that live classical music must be made more exclusive and less accessible to new and impressionable young artists. Surely, nothing will spread the joy and passion of the art better than locking out part of our customer base. They probably don’t deserve it anyway – am i right? BRAVO!

  • Ceasar says:


  • Osterholm is God says:

    We need 100% mandatory vaccination and vaccine passports to leave the house around the whole world for every single human on this planet!

  • Monsoon says:

    All you have to do is get the shot. It’s free and available every where.

    Is that so “tough”?

    • Common Sense says:

      Precisely. So sick and tired of the whining (whingeing) from the anti-vax nutters and sovereign citizen types.

      You’re not being asked to go to war. You’re not even being made to ration gasoline, nylon, meat and other consumer goods.

      You’re being asked to receive a free, easily available vaccine and to wear a mask in enclosed spaces. Put up or shut up and stay at home.

  • sam says:

    1) The new normal. NL, you should really be cataloging arts group that DON’T have such requirements, THEY are the outliers (and dare I say, enemies to public health).

    2) What is remarkable, however, is the fact that each State has it’s own pass system (if it has any at all), and may or may not recognize other passes or vaccination records from other States or outside the country (not that classical music fans are travelling much these days anyway). Which leaves the poor ushers the unenviable task of recognizing passes from outside California or spotting fake passes.

    3) The US can’t handle it’s own fractured vaccination system, how can it handle Afghanistan? (OK, that was totally gratuitous and for a cheap laugh ; ), but honest to God truth : o)

    • Brian says:

      The CDC card works anywhere in the United States and is recognized in many other countries as well.

      Agree with you 100% that organizations that don’t require vaccines are soon going to be outliers, and rightly so. They’re risking turning their concerts into super-spreader events.

      • TubaMinimum says:

        The first super-spreader event we have at a concert, concert venues are going to be shut back down and a lot of us are going to be out of work… again. Hell, if the spread happened in my venue, maybe we have a huge lawsuit or two combined with our shutdown and we go under for good.

        It’s not hard to imagine why the arts organizations want things to be as safe as possible. After the 18 months we’ve endured, we don’t have a lot of patience for those intent on extending this misery because they don’t like to play nice in group projects.

  • Kurz says:

    Here in Europe a more flexible approach works:

    –proof of vaccination, or
    –proof of negative test, or
    –proof of recovery

    We have been tested in Germany, Austria and Italy in the last three weeks to attend the Münchner Opernfestspiele and the Rossini Opera Festival.

    Costs range from free (Munich) to €12 (Innsbruck) to €15 (Pesaro).

    The results are digitally tied to a passport or EU identity card and produce a massive barcode. This is not great for privacy but at least it preserves options.

    Both festivals require FFP2 masks, which are like the N95 type, all during the performance — easier for Salome than Moïse et Pharaon.

    Restaurants here require masks when walking to or from one’s table but not while seated.

    When the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association says “safest possible,” wouldn’t that entail a test within 48 or 24 hours rather than mere proof of a jab?

  • Paul Sekhri says:

    Absolutely right too. Bravo to the LA Phil!

  • May says:

    The loud bang was the sound of the barn door slamming shut after the horses have already bolted.

    Google “breakthrough infection covid.”

    Viral load is similar in vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Get used to it. The more we learn about it, the more it becomes apparent that the virus continues to be spread around, without any regard to the vaccination status of the host.

    Instead of crafting a sensible policy e.g. for the 2021/2022 season EVERYONE has to test and EVERYONE has to wear a mask, U.S. Arts institutions are making hasty policy decisions that will have to be revisited in a few months.

    • TubaMinimum says:

      As is common with your crowd, you get one or two things correct mixed in with a whole lot of nonsense, which makes for a particularly dangerous kind of misinformation.

      A recent study DID in fact suggest that “viral load” is similar in vaccinated people with a breakthrough infection as infected unvaccinated people. “Viral load” refers to the amount of virus in your blood, and higher viral load can mean that person is more infectious. The lie is in the rest of your paragraph. The viral load study only looks at people who are infected from both the vaccinated and unvaccinated population. There is ample evidence in case numbers from all over the country that vaccinated people are getting infected at a significantly lower rate, which means that there are significantly fewer vaccinated people with any viral load, and of those significantly fewer who get seriously sick. How much of it they are carrying if and when they get infected is only part of the picture.

      We find ourselves in a lovely social Darwinian experiment, and the only thing we can do is use the tools we have to limit the spread to get this under control and not give the virus more bodies to find its next even deadlier mutation with. Just because a tool is not 100% effective, does not mean it’s not effective.

      • May says:

        TM, I’m not sure if the “crowd” slur is appropriate since I live in a cave under a rock.
        My argument – which I should have presented in the first sentence – is that testing is just as effective at keeping things under control as vaccination.
        I’m not sure that there is data to support the thesis that “vaccinated people are getting infected at a significantly lower rate,” because there is not sufficient testing to support this: At this point it is mostly unvaccinated people who are getting tested, which skews the results. What is becoming clear is that the virus floats around in the nasal cavities of everyone – vaccinated and unvaccinated – before getting launched again into the open. Of these vaccinated people that momentarily come in contact with the virus, most of them don’t register any symptoms, so they never have no clue what is happening on a microscopic level.
        That being said, probably everything we are doing now will have to be re-examined in six months again.

        • Bill says:

          It’s not as effective, as vaccination reduces the number of hosts providing the virus ample opportunity to reproduce and mutate unchecked.

  • MacroV says:

    That’s great. The only thing I would do differently is set up a vaccination station at the Hall so that anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated can get one there. It obviously wouldn’t take effect for that evening but given that most of the audience is probably vaccinated, and wearing masks, it would probably work.

  • Karl says:

    That’s the same as the protocol at Bard. Attendance looked pretty low. I think it’s a fool’s errand. This new variant is so contagious that everyone is going to get it eventually unless they hide in a cave. If you are vulnerable you should isolate until a treatment is created.

    Scott Gottlieb: “This virus is so contagious, this variant is so contagious that it’s going to infect the majority — that most people will either get vaccinated or have been previously infected or they will get this Delta variant,”

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    Going to a play in London on Saturday and I have to show proof of two vaccinations and a negative flow test. Had to find out how and discovered that Boots the chemist is giving away tests. Sorted!

    • NYMike says:

      COVID vaxes are free here in NY, as well. All venues and restaurants in NYC will now require vax-proof. We have both the US-wide CDC vax card and the NYS digital Excelsior vax-pass for smartphones.