Sat. Jan 22nd, 2022

The Adelaide Festival Center will impose COVID-19 vaccination requirements on all of its venues from the end of this month.

From December 29, all staff and patrons over the age of 16 must present proof of full vaccination or an official medical exemption from entering the venues of the Adelaide Festival Center.

Venues include Festival Theater, Dunstan Playhouse, Space Theater, Artspace and Her Majesty’s Theater.

Festival Center CEO Douglas Gautier said the changes were critical to the art industry.

“We know how important vaccinations are for the safety of our audiences, artists and staff, and we make that decision with health, safety and well-being in mind,” he said.

“As a major performing arts venue, we understand how important this decision is to help the performing arts industry and home businesses get back on track and to maintain business continuity.

Adelaide skyline from the Torrens River
The Adelaide Festival Theater and Adelaide Convention Center are among SA venues that require dual vaccination for admission.(ABC News: Eugene Boisvert)

The Adelaide Festival Center said a survey conducted last month showed that 98 per cent of South Australian art audiences were either partially or completely vaccinated or intended to be vaccinated.

The decision has been welcomed by state-owned corporations, including the Adelaide Festival, which has pushed for vaccination mandates from the state government.

Adelaide Festival cannot even bring in a mandate as it is a statutory authority.

“The Adelaide Festival welcomes the decision by the Adelaide Festival Center to become a meeting place open to fully vaccinated patrons, artists and staff (or those with a medical dispensation),” said interim CEO Kathie Massey.

“The Adelaide Festival Center leads by example and ensures that all those who rent the venue can deliver the art to South Australians as well as interstate and international visitors as safely as possible.”

State Theater CEO Julian Hobba said his organization also fully supported the policy.

“We believe that the requirement will give artists and audiences the greatest security and confidence to come along to enjoy live performances and is a measure we can take to ensure a strong recovery for the arts after two years of uncertainty,” he said.

The mandate will apply to upcoming festival events, including the 2022 Adelaide Festival.

Despite calls from the sector, Prime Minister Steven Marshall indicated last week that mandatory vaccinations would only be introduced for the most vulnerable areas, such as elderly care and health.

Other Adelaide venues to announce mandatory vaccinations include the Adelaide Oval, Adelaide Zoo, Adelaide Convention Center, Adelaide Entertainment Center and Hindmarsh Stadium.

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