Escapade Music Festival will require attendees be fully vaccinated
OTTAWA -- The Escapade Music Festival is going ahead this September, but you will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend.
Director Ali Shafaee told Newstalk 580 CFRA's "Ottawa Now with Kristy Cameron" on Monday that, at this stage of the plan, they will require full vaccination for all attendees, but there will be some exceptions for people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.
"We will be rolling out a testing requirement for those people who are unable to get vaccinated," Shafaee said. "If someone chooses to not partake in the festival this year due to the vaccination policy, we'll gladly give them a refund or roll their ticket over to 2022."
Shafaee said Escapade is working with a testing provider and suggested a festivalgoer who cannot be vaccinated will need to have a negative test that is no older than a day.
He said the decision to require vaccination has been "controversial" among some Escapade attendees, but he added that many people are understanding.
"Most of the people, I would say, are on board and supportive of the decision and understand it's something required to have a large scale event like ours," he said.
Shafaee noted that a music festival like Escapade is different from a concert or sporting event with assigned seating, which is why requiring full vaccination against COVID-19 made sense in his mind. He said that while some people have asked for refunds because of the policy, many more people have expressed an apparent interest in the festival.
"Our waitlist on our website went up by over 700 people today, so it was a significant uptake," he said.
Shafaee said attendees would be able to show their proof of vaccination when picking up their festival wristband ahead of the event.
"We won't collect any information from people, so we won't be doing a vaccine passport or an app or anything," he said. "When people come to get their wristband they'll be able to show us (proof of vaccination), whether it's on their phone or printed out, and at that point we'll be able to check off that they've shown us documentation and they'll get their wristband."
Shafaee added that anyone who has yet to be vaccinated can attend a pop-up vaccination clinic planned for this Saturday at RCGT Park at 300 Coventry Rd.
The clinic, a partnership with Ottawa Public Health, will operate from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The clinic will be open to anyone who needs their first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and who lives, works or goes to school in Ontario. Escapade says it will feature DJs, prizes and "an atmosphere only Escapade can bring."
You can register for the vaccination event here.
In order to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, you must be at least 12 years old to receive a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and you must be at least 18 years old to receive a dose of the Moderna vaccine. In order to receive your second dose, it must have been at least 28 days since your first dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna) and it must have been at least eight weeks since a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.