On Saturday, Eric Clapton performed at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, playing classics like “Layla” and “Wonderful Tonight” during his 14-song set. Nothing about that seems particularly notable, but the show actually did raise some eyebrows given Clapton’s recent history.
As the venue notes on its website, in order to gain admittance, “all ticketholders age 12 and above, staff, vendors and participants must provide evidence of 1) having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine that has received full approval or emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization or 2) evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to entering the event.”
The fact that Clapton performed a show in this environment goes against what he previously said. On July 19, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that vaccine passes would be required in order to enter venues. In response to that, Clapton shared a statement that read, “Following the PM’s announcement on Monday the 19th of July 2021 I feel honor-bound to make an announcement of my own. 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.”