Bass Hall ticketholders now must show negative COVID test or volunteer vaccine card
Patrons who queued up outside Bass Hall for opening night of Cats on November 16 had one extra stop before they could zip inside for a quick pre-show Grizzabella cocktail: They had to show a recent negative COVID-19 test result or proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
It's a new requirement that Fort Worth's premier performing arts organization instituted November 1 — after its first big Broadway show of the season, Come From Away.
"Effective November 1, 2021, all patrons ages 12 and older will be required to show either proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or voluntarily provide proof of vaccination, and photo identification," PAFW explains under a section called New Entry Requirements on the website.
Although Cats ticketholders had received information and email reminders about the new requirements, it caught some by surprise — especially since all patrons are still required to wear face masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
As of November 17, the Tarrant County Public Health Department rates COVID-19 community spread level as "substantial."
“As the owner and operator of Bass Performance Hall, Performing Arts Fort Worth continues to follow industry safety guidelines and applicable laws for reopening performing arts centers," explains Dione Kennedy, PAFW president and CEO. "The health and safety of our patrons, staff, volunteers, and artists is our top priority.
"We are joining performing arts centers nationwide in an earnest effort to keep the industry alive while navigating the ongoing challenging conditions imposed by COVID-19. As a result, we are implementing changes to meet the rapidly changing conditions, guidance and recommended best practices."
According to PAFW's website, complete requirements for entry are:
- Proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event (Antigen or PCR test). "Proof of a negative test must come directly from a healthcare provider that performs COVID-19 tests and clearly display your name, date, and result. Proof can be displayed on your smartphone or by presenting a physical copy."
- Voluntary proof of full COVID-19 vaccination. "Patrons who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (at least 14 days after final dose of Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson) may voluntarily provide proof of vaccination as a substitute for a negative COVID test result. Full COVID-19 vaccination means the day of the event is at least 14-days after your final vaccine dose. Proof of vaccination must come directly from a healthcare provider that performs vaccinations and clearly displays your name and date of 2nd dose. Proof can be displayed on your smartphone or by presenting a physical copy."
The new entry requirements apply to all patrons ages 12 and older, and patrons ages 18 and older must bring a photo ID that matches the name on the test result or vaccine card. Guests younger than 18 without ID must be accompanied by an adult with proper identification.
Additionally, masks/face coverings are still required in all areas of the venue regardless of vaccination status, including inside the theater during the performance. They must be worn over both the mouth and nose.
It's a bit confusing, as spokespeople for Bass Hall say the actual requirement is a negative test, not proof of vaccination, even though they are stated "either/or" and listed equally bold, under "requirements."
"The entry requirement is a negative test," a spokesman says. "In lieu of that requirement, patrons have the option to voluntarily provide proof of vaccination if they choose not to present a negative test.
"We are providing an option of voluntary proof of vaccination in lieu of the negative test."
A spokeswoman tells CultureMap that if a patron arrives and isn’t able to provide a negative test and does not want to voluntarily provide proof of vaccine, they have partnered with a mobile healthcare provider that specializes in onsite screening tests, to conduct COVID-19 testing for patrons prior to performances.
(If you're confused about what you're required to voluntarily do, or what happens if you don't want to do an on-site test, maybe just best to call them.)
PAFW also recently introduced contactless ticketing via a smartphone app (so patrons should have their phones ready to show after their vaccine card and ID).
For more information on the new entry requirements, click here.
The new rules now apply to PAFW and three out of four Bass Hall "resident companies" — Texas Ballet Theater, Fort Worth Opera, and the Cliburn.
The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra is not requiring negative tests or proof of vaccination for performances at this time, but is continuing to require masks and follow CDC guidelines, a FWSO spokeswoman confirms. A statement on the FWSO website reads, in part, "While some venues are requiring a negative PCR test or voluntary proof of vaccination status, the FWSO will continue to require only that patrons wear masks in the performance chamber at all times — without these additional requirements."
So, in useful list form, that means in the next few weeks, if you're heading to Bass Hall for:
- Cats — pack your vax card/negative test
- FWSO "Home for the Holidays" concert — no need for vax card/negative test
- Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis' Holiday Shindig — vax card/negative test
- FWSO "Hadelich’s Mendelssohn: Debussy, Mendelssohn and Brahms" — no vax card/negative test
- The Nutcracker — vax card/negative test
- The Gatlin Brothers and Crystal Gayle - Holiday & Hits — vax card/negative test
- Robert Earl Keen's "The Road to Christmas" — vax card/negative test
- FWSO "Swing is the Thing" — no vax card/negative test
Any performances in which the new rules of entry are not enforced will not offer some of the same amenities, such as food and beverage service, a PAFW spokeswoman says.
Kennedy says they'll continue to monitor local COVID-19 conditions.
"As conditions or laws change, so may protocols and guidelines," she says.