A Florida concert promoter says he is trying to "get fence-sitters off the fence" by charging people who haven't been vaccinated for COVID-19 more than 50 times as much as others. Tickets for the June 26 concert in St. Petersburg headlined by punk rockers Teenage Bottlerocket will be $18 for the vaccinated and $999.99 for everyone else. "I'm not denying entry to anyone," says promoter Paul Williams, per the Washington Post. "I’m just offering a discount." Teenage Bottlerocket singer Ray Carlisle tells CNN that he initially thought Williams was joking, but band members, who haven't played live since March 2020 and are eager to get back on the road, support the idea.
Williams says attendees will need to show up with photo ID and a vaccination card. He says the move doesn't violate an executive order from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis banning businesses from making patrons prove they have been vaccinated—which won't go into effect until days after the concert—though a DeSantis spokeswoman tells the Post that charging higher prices "unfairly discriminates against people who have enumerated rights under Florida law." Williams tells ABC that the response has been "overwhelmingly positive," though he has received a number of abusive and threatening message from anti-vaxxers. Williams says the cheaper tickets have almost sold out, but nobody has bought one of the "standard price" $999.99 tickets. (Read more Florida stories.)