Eric Clapton Won’t Play Venues That Require Proof of Vaccination

The anti-vaxxer says he won't play shows "where there is a discriminated audience present"

Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton on stage during the Music For The Marsden concert held at the O2 Arena, London.
PA Images via Getty Images

By now, we’re all painfully aware of where Eric Clapton stands when it comes to vaccines and COVID-19 lockdown requirements, but on Wednesday, the guitarist doubled down on his stance, announcing that he will not play any shows at venues that require attendees to show proof of vaccination.

Clapton made the announcement in response to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recent decree that beginning in September, people will have to show proof of vaccination to enter venues and nightclubs.

“Following the PM’s announcement on Monday the 19th of July 2021 I feel honor-bound to make an announcement of my own,” Clapton said in a statement. “I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present. Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show.”

Of course, it’s very likely that this is just posturing on Clapton’s part and the vaccination rule won’t impact his shows at all. The musician currently doesn’t have any UK gigs on the books until May 2022, when he’s slated to play the Royal Albert Hall in London. It’s impossible to predict what the status of the pandemic will be by then, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable to think that the situation will have improved to a point where restrictions are able to be lifted.

It also goes without saying that the COVID-19 vaccines have been scientifically proven to be effective, and just like people have a right to not get vaccinated if they don’t want to for whatever reason, privately owned businesses — including music venues — have a right to refuse entry to unvaccinated patrons in the interest of public health. No one is entitled to an Eric Clapton concert (or any concert, for that matter), and if he’s serious about not playing venues that require proof of vaccination, they likely won’t get to see one for a while.

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