Without COVID-19 Checks, Two Artists Cancel at Frank Erwin Center
After Michael Bublé dropout, Tame Impala relocates to COTA
By Rachel Rascoe,
3:30PM, Thu. Sep. 23, 2021
Two major touring artists recently cancelled concerts at Austin’s Frank Erwin Center, citing the venue’s inability to enforce COVID-19 safety protocols.
After Michael Bublé’s cancellation of an Erwin Center appearance last week, Tame Impala announced relocation to another venue today. In both instances, artists posted that the Erwin Center was unable to require either a completed vaccination card or a recent negative COVID-19 test for entry. Tame Impala instructed fans to purchase new tickets for their Nov. 7 date now booked at the Circuit of the Americas Amphitheater, with all Erwin Center tickets being refunded.
Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker posted: “Hey Austin, due to being a government owned building the venue won’t allow us to require proof of vax/neg test for entry, so we’re moving venues… I’m told production will be slightly scaled back, but the vibe will remain extremely strong regardless.”
Last week, Bublé cancelled his Sept. 20 performance citing the Erwin Center’s inability to meet his previously-announced tour protocols. Bublé shared on social media: “Though we tried, I was sadly unable to facilitate this for my Austin show. There was no other choice but to cancel. My conscience and my heart wouldn’t allow it.”
Most major Austin venues – such as COTA, the Moody Theatre, and Stubb’s – have all proved able to comply with artists’ requests requiring a completed vaccination card or a recent negative COVID-19 test for entry. Unlike most Austin venues, the Erwin Center is owned and operated by the public University of Texas at Austin. On campus, vaccines and masks are encouraged but optional under Gov. Greg Abbott’s restrictive orders regarding agencies that receive public funding.
The Erwin Center website also says masks are recommended, adding that “for individuals who are not fully vaccinated or have weakened immune systems, social distancing is optional but recommended.”
The Erwin Center’s remaining 2021 calendar includes the iHeartCountry Festival, Chris Stapleton’s All-American Road Show featuring Jamey Johnson and Yola, Lauren Daigle, and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.