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Ben Folds, performing in Dallas this fall, will require vaccine proof

Pop singer Ben Folds, scheduled to perform with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in October, is adding a new requirement for attendees: They must be vaccinated.

In a characteristically charming Facebook post, Folds laid down a new set of protocols for shows that will be effective immediately. Those include proof of vaccination, and a proviso that masks be worn inside venues for any indoor shows he performs in 2021.

He also postponed some immediate shows taking place in August, so that they will be able to accommodate the new routine.

His Dallas stop will include three shows: October 22, 23, and 24, at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.

He said that the majority of his indoor shows scheduled for August and September are at venues that have confirmed they will follow the new vaccine only/mask always requirements, and they’re working through the details for shows on tap for October and November, which would include the DSO show.

“If our precautionary measures seem extreme to some, at least we’ll agree that our health is always Number One,” his post said. “This is the way we’re going about trying not to add to local health care woes across multiple states.”

“I lobbied to add that cheap beer was to be administered intravenously (better tasting, less filling), and that flash photography with implanted arm chips would be prohibited, but is that kind of stuff really helpful?” he joked.

Folds said that the decision to implement such a strict vaccine/mask policy came after weeks of consulting with multiple venue operators and promotors, trading notes with other touring artists, and talking to health care pros.

Other performers who’ve enacted similar measures include Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, who relocated their August 13 concert from Panther Island Pavilion to Billy Bob’s Texas. Isbell is requiring proof of vaccination or a current negative test for all attendees at his upcoming shows. If that’s not allowed at the venue, then he’s opting not to play there.

Folds said he’s fully vaccinated, as is his crew.

“We’ll be testing twice a week,” he said. “We’ll stay masked while traveling as we hop in and out of cabs, check in and out of hotels, and make our way through airports across several states.”

“That goes for me too, right up to the moment when the house lights dim, the dry ice spills across the stage, and I begin to sing the truth and three chords into a golden mic,” he said. “The mask will need to come off then of course. And the shirt. You know it.”

He ended with another light joke: “For the record, I always place a condom on the microphone anyway,” he said.


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