Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, issued an executive order this spring prohibiting businesses in the state from making patrons prove their vaccination status. However, Florida promoter, Paul Williams, created a new way to make his shows COVID risk-free. As the country has progressively been opening up after the pandemic lockdown, Leadfoot Productions has recently announced a show featuring the band, Teenage Bottlerocket, occurring on June 26th in Saint Petersburg, Florida.
The company announced that “discounted tickets” for attendees with a vaccination card cost just $18, while “non-discounted tickets” for non-vaccinated attendees are $999.99. This price difference comes out to be a 5,555% difference. Online, the show page states that all volunteers and band members will be vaccinated. Additionally, they warn attendees that if they show up without a vaccination card, they will need to pay the remaining $981.99 to enter the show.
Paul Williams reports to The Washington Post, “I’m not denying entry to anyone, I’m just offering a discount.” A spokesperson from DeSantis’ office, however, told the Washington Post that this price difference is a violation of the state’s rules. DeSantis’ press secretary told the Post that, “charging higher ticket prices for individuals who do not furnish proof of vaccination unfairly discriminates against people who have enumerated rights under Florida law.”
Williams and the band, Teenage Bottlerocket, have been receiving numerous Facebook messages, spam calls, and death threats as a result of the two-tiered ticketing system they have put in place for the show. Regardless of the backlash they have gotten from consumers, Williams has told the Post that he and the bands are sticking to their ways and have since reported that only a few “discounted tickets” remain as of Saturday afternoon. They also announced that zero of the “standard-priced tickets” had sold yet.