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COVID-19 guidelines force venue change for Jason Isbell's Fort Worth concert

COVID-19 rules force venue change for Jason Isbell's Fort Worth show

Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit will now play at Billy Bob's Texas instead of Panther Island Pavilion on August 13. Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit/Facebook

The Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit concert that was scheduled for Panther Island Pavilion on August 13 has been moved to Billy Bob's Texas due to new COVID-19 guidelines issued by the singer himself, according to a statement on the Billy Bob's website.

Isbell announced on Twitter on August 9 that he would require proof of vaccination or a current negative test for all attendees at his upcoming shows, and that if the venue wouldn't allow that, he would not play there.

According to the Billy Bob's statement, "When Jason Isbell announced new guidelines for his upcoming Fort Worth concert, his management reached out to Billy Bob’s Texas to facilitate the show on Friday the 13th ... Isbell says he’s requiring COVID-19 vaccination proof at his concerts to keep his fans safe because 'if you’re dead, you don’t have any freedoms at all.'"

The new requirements for attending the Fort Worth show are:

  • All attendees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of attending the event.
  • "Fully vaccinated" means the attendee is at least two weeks removed from their final dose, which means no later than July 30, 2021. Each person must provide proof of vaccination, which can be the original vaccination card, a copy of the vaccination card, or a picture of the vaccination card.
  • If the attendee is not vaccinated, they must take a COVID-19 diagnostic test (PCR or antigen) within 72 hours of the event and provide proof of negative result to security prior to entry into the facility.

Attendees are advised to arrive early as checking the documentation will be a new and lengthy process.

Anyone who is unwilling or unable to adhere to the new guidelines and purchased their tickets directly through AXS may request a refund. Refunds must be requested through the point of purchase before event time.

The show will now take place at the usual Billy Bob's time of 10 pm instead of the scheduled 8 pm at Panther Island Pavilion. The move to the new venue also forces the cancellation of the previously-scheduled Roger Creager concert; an alternate date for that concert has not yet been announced (UPDATE: The new date for the Creager concert is October 30.)

Panther Island Pavilion spokesman Matt Oliver referred questions about the change of venue to the event producers, stating, "The way TRWD (Tarrant Regional Water District) event permits are written, all responsibility and liability falls onto the event producer. Panther Island Pavilion doesn’t tell the event producer what guidelines/regulations they are to follow including how to handle security, ticket sales, or entry requirements."

Oliver pointed to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's Executive Order from July 29 stating that government agencies such as TRWD, which oversees Panther Island Pavilion, cannot require vaccinations for entry. 

A quick scan of Isbell's recent Twitter timeline yields much drama over his new guidelines, including pushback from some fans and an assertion by Isbell that the owner of Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands "flat out refused to even attempt to implement the policy," leading to him to cancel his August 11 concert there.