Folks headed to Hangout Fest in Gulf Shoes next May will need to prove their COVID-19 vaccination status, as per a new policy by the music festival's parent company.

AEG Presents, which operates Hangout Music Festival, announced Thursday that beginning Oct. 1, all patrons of its venues and festivals must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend any of AEG concerts or shows.

“We have come to the conclusion that, as a market leader, it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status,” said Jay Marciano, COO of AEG and Chairman and CEO of AEG Presents, in a news release. “Just a few weeks ago, we were optimistic about where our business, and country, were heading. The Delta variant, combined with vaccine hesitancy, is pushing us in the wrong direction again. We realize that some people might look at this as a dramatic step, but it’s the right one. We also are aware that there might be some initial pushback, but I’m confident and hopeful that, at the end of the day, we will be on the right side of history and doing what’s best for artists, fans, and live event workers.”

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The release added that the vaccination policy, "limited only as required by law," will begin no later than Oct. 1, 2021 for all of AEG's United States properties. Until then, those attending AEG shows must either show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test from no more than 72 hours prior to the show date.

“Certain states’ regulations may override our mandate, or a few artists may not want to immediately get on board with the plan, but we know that using our platform to take a strong position on vaccinations can make an impact," said Shawn Trell, COO and General Counsel of AEG Presents in the release. "The message we want to send is simple and clear: the only way to be as safe as possible is to require everyone to be vaccinated. And we’re confident that others who haven’t been ready to make this full commitment yet will follow our lead.”

Apart from Hangout, AEG is also responsible for 28 other music festivals worldwide, including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Firefly Music Festival, Buckeye Country Superfest, Stagecoach and Coachella.

Last year's Hangout Festival featured headliners like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Post Malone, Billie Eilish, Marshmello, Lana Del Rey and many more.

“Our hope is that our pro-active stance encourages people to do the right thing and get vaccinated,” Marciano said in the release. “We’ve already had to deliver bad news about JazzFest this week; I think everyone can agree that we don’t want concerts to go away again, and this is the best way to keep that from happening.”

For more information, visit AEG's website here or take a look at its FAQ here. 

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