Eric Clapton Plays Vaccine-Required Gig After Vowing That He Would Never

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

September 21, 2021

Photo: AFP

After warning venues in July that he would cancel any show that required the audience to be vaccinated, Eric Clapton reportedly performed a vaccine-mandated concert Saturday in New Orleans without incident.

Clapton's statement over the summer was in response to the news that the U.K. would mandate vaccination starting in September at any crowded entertainment venue in the nation, particularly concert halls.

Clapton wrote at the time that he would "not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present. Unless there is a provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show."

New Orleans' Smoothie King Center requires all staff members and ticket holders aged 12 or older to have at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and wear a mask at all times inside the venue when not eating or drinking. Ticket holders without proof of vaccination must submit evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken with 72 hours to be admitted.

The guitar icon's statement did not address whether he believes required COVID testing is an acceptable precaution. He has previously advocated for the maligned strategy of "focused protection" as a means to build herd immunity against the virus.

Although Clapton is fully-vaccinated, he claims he suffered severe side effects from the AstraZeneca shot due to a condition he has called peripheral neuropathy. Since last year, he has railed against pandemic-related lockdowns as tyranny and promoted unfounded theories about the side effects the vaccines have on normal healthy people.

Clapton has admitted that his "activism" on COVID has frustrated family members and strained friendships. Even Queen's Brian May publicly expressed his dismay at the conspiracy and bad science rabbit hole down which his "hero" has slipped recently.

Clapton's brief U.S. tour wraps up this weekend in Florida. See his remaining tour dates here.

Eric Clapton
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