Some fans turn against Foo Fighters after hearing concert-goers need proof of vaccination

Dave Grohl sings and plays guitar at a Foo Fighters live performance
Some Foo Fighters fans were upset to learn they needed proof of vaccination to attend the band’s upcoming Madison Square Garden show.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

When the Foo Fighters announced they would play a Madison Square Garden show, fans jumped for joy. But when they found out the venue would follow New York City mandates and require proof of vaccination for attendees, some fans stamped their feet.

On Tuesday, the band happily tweeted that tickets to the June 20 show would be available starting Friday.

However, the Ticketmaster page for the show specifies that “Guests must have proof of full Covid-19 vaccination — Final Dose 14 Days Before Event.


“Because of overwhelming demand for these events, in order to accommodate as many guests as possible, Madison Square Garden is complying with New York State mandates that require all guests to be fully vaccinated in such circumstances.”

While unvaccinated fans who aren’t against getting the shot or shots might have a legitimate beef — the short notice, coming only 12 days before the show, meant such fans wouldn’t have a chance to meet the “Final Dose 14 Days Before” standard — many in the small mob complaining about the announcement seemed miffed by the notion that the band would play a show requiring vaccinations at all.

One tweeter called the band “Enemy of the people” and another accused them of “coercion.”

Why fans would be surprised the band is on board with vaccinations is a bit of a mystery, considering the Foo Fighters’ participation last month in L.A.’s Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World.

Frontman Dave Grohl had previously demonstrated how seriously he took the pandemic by speaking out against former President Donald Trump’s desire to reopen schools. In an audio edition of his Medium series, “Dave’s True Stories,” he questioned the qualifications of those making some of the decisions: “I wouldn’t trust the U.S. secretary of percussion to tell me how to play ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ if they’d never sat behind a drum set. So why should any teacher trust Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to tell them how to teach without her ever having sat at the head of a class. Maybe she should switch to the drums.”

“Teachers want to teach, not die, and we should support and protect them,” said Foo Fighters star Dave Grohl in an audio essay, “In Defense of Our Teachers.”

July 22, 2020

One Twitter user (mistakenly thinking the June 20 concert had already occurred) declared he’d throw their records away. In about a day and a half, the tweet had garnered more than 3,500 likes.

One of those responding in agreement said the move showed the band’s “true colors” and said the coronavirus “basically kills as much as flu.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average number of flu deaths per year in the United States has been around 36,000 for the last decade. The CDC’s count of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. since the initial outbreak about 18 months ago is currently 596,059. The World Health Organization says the seasonal influenza mortality rate is “well below .1%,” while listing the COVID-19 mortality rate as between 3% and 4%. So the poster was only off by a factor of 30 to 40.

When one poster replied that the band was simply following local law, the tweeter mistaken about relative flu and COVID-19 mortality rates was unforgiving:

Some Tweeters wondered whether the band had a hidden agenda.

Others spotted the agenda: The dreaded “Woke” one.

Apparently referring to their attempts to promote vaccinations, one poster dragged Mariah Carey and Dolly Parton into it, citing their “experimental biochemical agents injections promotions.”

Neither the Foo Fighters, Carey or Parton had issued a statement at publication time.