Interior view of SoFi Stadium before an NFL football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New England Patriots on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Inglewood, California.

Ashley Landis / AP

Why Global Citizens Should Care

More than 43% of the United States’ total population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and the rate of immunized citizens will keep rising in the days and weeks ahead. 

The historic vaccination campaign is all thanks to the hard work and determination of health care workers who have relentlessly protected and cared for people around the country.

To celebrate the heroic efforts of those health care workers, Global Citizen invited them to attend VAX LIVE: A Concert to Reunite the World,  filmed Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, and airing as a global broadcast and streaming event on May 8. The event brought together artists, entertainers, world leaders, and more to ensure equitable vaccine distribution around the world, inspire confidence in COVID-19 vaccines, and celebrate a hopeful future.

Hosted by multi-platinum recording artist, actress, and producer Selena Gomez, the VAX LIVE special will feature musical performances by Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin, and H.E.R. Special guests from around the world will also speak about the importance of vaccine equity, including VAX LIVE campaign chairs Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Ben Affleck, Chrissy Teigen, David Letterman, Gayle King, Jimmy Kimmel, Nomzamo Mbatha, Olivia Munn, Sean Penn, and more.

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As the first large-scale music event for a COVID-19-compliant audience of fully vaccinated frontline health care and essential workers, VAX LIVE was surely cathartic and celebratory for guests in attendance.

But we know the threat of COVID-19 has not yet abated — infections and cases are still high throughout the US and the world. That’s why we took rigorous action to adhere to the latest health protocols to ensure everyone in attendance was safe. 

Here are six ways we kept everyone at VAX LIVE safe. 

1. COVID-19 Safety Plans Designed by Experts

We had an in-depth COVID-19 safety and compliance plan, designed and supervised by iCrowd and Dr. Stuart Weiss, a highly respected expert on COVID-19 and live events, as well as CrowdRX, an event safety group founded and staffed by highly trained MDs, paramedics, EMTs, and other medical support personnel.

We also worked closely with LA County and the State of California to ensure a safe and enjoyable event for everyone. We followed all of the latest guidelines with regard to capacity at the venue and testing protocols to ensure the entire crew and audience were as safe as can be. We have statements of support from California Gov. Gavin Newsom; Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health; and Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti. 

2. Vaccine Requirements

All attendees were required to have been fully vaccinated by April 18. On the day of the concert, they brought with them their official vaccination card noting the dates of their vaccines, vaccine type, and lot number, or a photo of their vaccine cards. Ticket-holders were also encouraged to verify their vaccine cards ahead of the show, and received a vaccine verification bracelet.

All COVID-19 vaccines available in the US have been shown to substantially reduce the likelihood of a severe COVID-19 infection and minimize COVID-19 transmission. By requiring everyone in attendance to get vaccinated well in advance, we ensured that VAX LIVE was limiting risk. 

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3. Mask Mandates

While early data suggests that vaccinated people are unlikely to transmit COVID-19, we followed all of the CDC’s recommended precautions, which include that vaccinated people should still wear masks at live performances and events. Throughout VAX LIVE, everyone was required to wear a mask to reduce the risk of airborne particles circulating. 

Face masks were required at all times when not eating or drinking. Security monitored and enforced the rule, and ensured that attendees’ noses and mouths were covered by double-layered disposable or reusable/washable face masks (neck gaiters, bandanas, and masks with vents were not permitted).

Masks have been shown to be highly effective at minimizing the spread of COVID-19. 

4. Limited Seating

VAX LIVE didn’t resemble the massive concerts you’re used to from before the pandemic, with every seat and standing area filled to the brim. We followed reduced capacity guidelines as set by the state and county. Global Citizen followed seating guidelines for public events created by health officials, and assigned seating further ensured that guests were not interacting with too many people. 

When guests arrived at SoFi Stadium, they went through security and were assigned a seat in specific zones. Limited seating and assigned seating allowed our staff to manage the flow of people as safely and organized as possible. 

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5. Hygiene Stations

Guests had no shortage of spaces to wash and sanitize their hands throughout the event. There were also robust cleaning protocols that SoFi Stadium implemented and were followed prior to and throughout VAX LIVE

Other measures like temperature checks, on-site rapid testing for the working crews, and contact tracing were in place.

6. Staff and Crew Measures

All Global Citizen staff, show crew, and performers were prevented from going into general audience zones to minimize interactions and ensure social distancing. Further, the staff and crew underwent regular testing before being able to enter the stadium.

As part of Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World campaign, VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World will bring together artists, entertainers, world leaders, and more to ensure equitable vaccine distribution around the world, tackle COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, and celebrate a hopeful future.

Find out how to tune in starting May 8 here, and join us in taking action to end the pandemic and ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to COVID-19 vaccines. Then, head to our multimedia hub VAX BECAUSE to join candid conversations about the pandemic and find answers to your biggest questions about the vaccines.

Want to take home part of the show? Check out our VAX LIVE merch at the Global Citizen official store.