Earlier this week, Boris Johnson unveiled plans for nightclubs and large music venues to demand proof of double vaccination to from the end of September, in order for entry.
On Thursday 22 July, Clapton shared his own statement on the app Telegram, via architect and coronavirus sceptic Robin Monotti. Clapton’s comments were shared alongside the artist’s anti-lockdown anthem “Stand and Deliver”, which he released with Van Morrison last year.
“I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present,” he said. “Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show.”
Clapton’s next scheduled concerts in the UK are at the Royal Albert Hall in London, in May 2022.
His remarks sparked a backlash from many who accused him of ignoring the science that shows vaccines significantly reduce risk of infection and hospitalisation from coronavirus, including the faster-spreading Delta variant, which is currently driving the cases surge in the UK.
“I don’t need to hear Dr Fauci play guitar, and I don’t need to hear Eric Clapton give medical advice,” one critic wrote.
Actor Ellen Barkin tweeted the more succinct: “Eric Clapton is an a*****e.”
“If you attend an Eric Clapton rally, you are playing Covid roulette. Just saying,” wrote Star Trek actor George Takei.
“This works out quite nicely as I’m refusing to go to venues that have Eric Clapton in them,” another tweet said.
Chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance said during the Downing Street press conference that clubs and large music venues have the potential to cause “super spreading events”.
However, the government’s announcement caused controversy as it came on the same day nightclubs and music venues were allowed to open for the first time since March last year.
Night Time Industries Association chief executive Michael Kill accused the government of an “absolute shambles”, adding: “So, ‘freedom day’ for nightclubs lasted around 17 hours then.”
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