Earlier this afternoon, Motorco Music Hall in Durham posted that, going forward, it will require proof of vaccination to attend all music events on the calendar. In addition—in accordance with Durham County’s state of emergency, declared this weekend due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 Delta Variant—masks will be required. 

“Our staff is already 100 percent vaccinated and all artists will be checked before they enter our building to ensure the safest possible environment,” the Motorco post reads. “We appreciate our community’s support as we continue to reintroduce live events during this very trying time.” 

The immunization requirement comes as the Delta Variant has quickly become the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant, spreading quickly, particularly in areas with lower vaccination rates. Last week, New York City became the first city in the United States to require proof of vaccination for indoor activities. 

Pressure is mounting for venues in particular, as musicians look uneasily toward fall tours in packed concert halls and push for vaccination requirements. Americana musician Jason Isbell announced earlier today that his team will require proof of vaccination or a current negative test to attend both indoor and outdoor shows, stating that he won’t play if venues do not comply with the requirement. 

“I’m all for freedom but I think if you’re dead, you don’t have any freedoms at all,” Isbell told MSNBC in an interview. 

Sylvan Esso has also said that they are working toward making the same entry requirements at their shows. 

Other area venues and restaurants are expected to follow suit, this week, with similar immunization requirements. At least two restaurants—downtown Durham Parisian bistro Rue Cler, and neighborhood spot Pizzeria Mercato in Carrboro—have already announced that they will require proof of vaccination for entry, and masks on customers until they are seated. 

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