28 Sep 2021

Events industry wants information about vaccine passports as soon as possible

10:52 am on 28 September 2021

Organisers of one the biggest summer festivals will not hold the event unless it can operate under alert level 1 rules.

No caption

Rhythm and Vines 2019. Photo: Rhythm and Vines 2019

Rhythm and Vines, held near Gisborne is set to take place across the last three days of 2021.

But while Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she expected a normal summer of events, Rhythm and Vine Co-founder Hamish Pinkham said a final decision on his festival was yet to be made.

"We'll be monitoring the situation as close as we can, but it will become a point closer to the event where we'll have to assess if we can gather safely within the Covid restrictions.

"We need to be at level 1 to run the event."

Pinkham said he was watching closely to see if vaccine passports would be needed for people to attend the festival.

Events consultant and Homegrown New Zealand music festival director Andrew Tuck told Morning Report a vaccine passport would add another level of security.

"At the moment they get their their ID checked and then they get their ticket checked, etcetera," Tuck said.

"Now they're going to have to scan them, so we need to make sure they are scanned in, then we have to have somebody to check the the the vaccine passport and make sure the battle lines back with their ID and then that process going into ticketing is going to be a little longer, that's all."

If vaccine passports were required it would be one of the first things they checked when selling tickets, he said.

"There's no point in getting them all the way through and getting them ID'd and ticketed and what have you and then and then realise that they don't have a vaccine passport so you have got to take it all off them again."

Dealing with a vaccine passport would also add extra cost, Tuck said.

"We've already done the breakdown of it, it's probably going to be an extra 10 to 12 security guards over that process of the day (of Homegrown) and for festivals that will go longer, it'll be over those continual days.

"The big thing about it is just what do those vaccine passports look like? Are they digital? Are they a card? Can they be forged, can they be faked? What are we actually looking for? A lot of those questions are still unknown."

The industry needed clarity as soon as possible.

"I'm involved in Toast Martinborough and a few other festivals that are leading up to Christmas as well and when you look at things like that, we're underway here in seven, eight weeks or so, we want to make sure people are safe and that events can go ahead ... so as much information as we can have would be good.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs