Music | September 20, 2021 4:58 pm

Eric Clapton Has Already Broken His Vow to Avoid Venues With Strict COVID-19 Protocols

New Orleans 1, Clapton 0

Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton performs at the Royal Albert Hall on May 22, 2017 in London, England.
Getty Images

This month has seen artists ranging from Patton Oswalt to Michael Bublé cancel planned events as part of their recent tours. Why? Because the venues in question would not implement the COVID-19 safety protocols that the artists requested. More and more venues and festivals are stepping up in this regard — with many requiring vaccinations, others requiring masking and some requiring both. By and large, that seems to be in tune with what plenty of artists would like as well.

And then there’s Eric Clapton. In July, Clapton stated that he would not play “on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present.” Leaving aside the tone-deafness of the phase “discriminated audience,” his comments read like a bizarro-world version of the concerns raised by the likes of Oswalt, Bublé and Phoebe Bridgers.

Turns out Clapton’s “I am the lone voice in the wilderness” position only extends so far. At Vulture, Devon Ivie reports that Clapton played on September 18 at a New Orleans venue that — wait for it — required both proof of vaccination and masking. (This is in keeping with city guidelines.) Evidently Eric Clapton has met his match, and it’s the municipal government of New Orleans. Of course, he could have stuck to his guns and canceled the show, but money talks, and given that more and more venues across the country are implementing similar policies, he’ll likely have to continue playing for these so-called “discriminated audiences” if he wants to play at all.

Vulture’s report does not have details, however, on whether or not Clapton played his anti-vaccine song.