Desiree Perez Announces Made in America to Require Proof of Vaccination, Masks
Roc Nation CEO Desiree Perez has announced new precautions designed to protect concert-goers, performers, and staff at the annual Made in America festival.
Perez’s announcement means Made in America will be in line with other major festivals such as Coachella, in taking added measures to protect the health of all involved. It comes on the heels of criticism directed at the organizers of Lollapalooza, which recently hosted thousands of mostly unmasked attendees in Chicago.
For Desiree Perez, the moves are designed to ensure ticket holders can enjoy the music celebration during the Labor Day weekend festival while not turning Made in America into a super-spreader event. Made in America is scheduled for September 4 and 5.
The decision comes as COVID-19 continues to persist throughout the United States, with caseloads, symptomatic cases and hospitalization rates increase throughout the country.
New Restrictions in Place
Perez said that ticket holders will need to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of arrival. Those unable to complete vaccinations or present a negative test will be able to take a rapid test for COVID-19 at festival gates.
Anyone unable to meet one of those three qualifications will be forbidden from entering the event and will have their ticket refunded.
Festival attendees will also be required to be masked while in attendance.
Roc Nation is working closely with Philadelphia officials to expand the festival’s footprint to allow for testing outside the entrance gates. Desiree Perez estimates close to 60,000 attendees each day of Made in America, held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Ticket sales are robust and are setting new records, the company notes.
Roc Nation has recently announced that they have partnered with CLEAR’s Health Pass. The app, available for free to concertgoes, will be used for entry to the festival via CLEAR Express Lanes. Users can perform all mandatory vaccine and testing validations on the app in advance of the festival.
Massive Multiday Music Festival
Jay-Z, who founded Roc Nation with Desiree Perez, created Made in America. The festival features five stages and features a mix of hip hop, pop, rock and electronic music. Headliners include Justin Bieber, Megan Thee Stallion and Lil Baby.
Like many initiatives led by Perez, Made in America has a strong social justice element. In 2021, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania is the official charity partner. Since its founding in 2012, Made in America has generated more than $135 million in economic impact for the city of Philadelphia.
The guidelines are unavoidable, Perez said, given the growing numbers of tickets sold. She noted that Philadelphia officials have decided that masks are required at all non-seated outdoor events that have more than 1,000 people in attendance. Anyone planning an event in the city needs to follow these guidelines. Outdoor concerts without seats are different than a basketball game or seated concert, given the amount of movement among attendees and activities like mosh pits and dancing, health officials said.
Perez noted that the festival will comply with health guidelines and that she is confident that if Philadelphia is open for business, the festival will move forward as planned.
The move by Roc Nation follows those within the industry. AEG also recently noted that its festivals, including Coachella and Stagecoach, will also require event attendees to comply with vaccination and mask mandates.
The Delta variant is driving many of these decisions. As the country has started to open, vaccination rates have continued to lag. The variant, which is far more infectious than the original virus, has driven a dramatic rise in illness, hospitalizations, and deaths, especially in parts of the country that have not seen high vaccination rates.
The moves also come as Lollapalooza’s organizers are coming under fire for not requiring masks or proof of vaccination as more than 100,000 descended on Chicago’s Grant Park for the annual festival.
Desiree Perez Leads with Experience
Desiree Perez was named CEO of Roc Nation in 2019 after a dozen years as COO of the international entertainment business. Roc Nation represents some of the top artists and athletes, in addition to running a record label, event promotion and management, and philanthropic units.
Perez, who was named Billboard’s 2019 Woman Executive of the Year, got her start as a part-time nightclub manager. Today, she oversees the ever-expanding Roc Nation enterprise, which in recent months has also launched a music school and a cannabis company in addition to its traditional businesses.
Originally published at https://www.hngn.com on August 30, 2021.