HI-FI announces vaccine requirement, negative COVID test to attend live shows

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INDIANAPOLIS – Another local concert venue is requiring a vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test for fans.  The HI-FI in Fountain Square announced the new protocol because the owner says the music industry and the artists demand a safe environment to perform.

“Health check required.” You can’t miss the sign posted at the HI-FI ticket office.

“To attend concerts at our venue you have to have a proof of vaccination or a negative test result within a certain period of time based on the type of test,” said HI_FI Owner Josh Baker.

Baker says this is the only way that shows will continue to take the stage.

“What it boils down to is, if we don’t do it, the tours don’t happen so we’re right back in a situation that we were last fall,” explained Baker. “The tours are the nature of our business, we’re not a bar or a restaurant, we are in business to sell tickets to concerts and the artists are the lifeblood of that business model. So, if they’re saying that they’re not going to come on tour without these requirements – then we don’t really have a choice, but to put them in place.”

Baker says that can’t afford to lose thousands of dollars again like last fall.  That’s why fans will now have to download the app Bindle to get in the show. According to HI_FI, “You will be greeted by a member of our team prior to entering the line or accessing the box office. Simply show your Bindle Entry Pass with a green check mark and you are on your way.”

Baker added, “It literally takes two minutes to upload your vaccine card, we don’t ever want to see your card it just creates an entry pass that says you’re good.”

Baker works with venues across the state and expects many others will be announcing the same requirements in the coming days. At The Vogue in Broad Ripple, they followed the same rules at a show this week and at Ruoff Music Center, artists have already followed suit.

Baker understands it’s a decision that comes with mixed reactions.

“It’s obviously a very sensitive subject for a lot of folks and we’re kind of put in the middle a little bit, so we’re trying to do our best,” said Baker.

We spoke with a few people spending time in Fountain Square to find out what people thought about this decision. Heather Handley is a health care worker. She said, “Absolutely, I love the idea. Especially for venues that are indoor.”

Courtland Tunstill added, “The biggest thing right now is getting people to come together.”

Tunstill is a local artist who has performed at HI-FI. He just wants to see people back at events. “I think if anything, it’ll further drive people more to go get tested or get vaccinated,” he said.

The HI-FI is hopeful these changes are temporary, but in the meantime, their focus is on safety and what they can do to bring live music back to the fans.

“We’re consulting with everyone we can consult with to make ourselves more educated and so we’re making good decisions,” said Baker.

According to the HI-FI some shows may require these changes sooner, than the September 1effective date. They say to look for the health check indicator on show listings.

Click here to read the full list of health check and safety protocols provided by HI-FI.

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