Eric Clapton has given a performance in New Orleans at a venue that requires evidence of a COVID-19 vaccine or negative test result, effectively undoing the stance he took against such measures earlier this year.
In July, Clapton vowed never to perform at a venue that required proof of vaccination, shortly after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that vaccine passes would be required to enter nightclubs and venues in the country, Clapton saying: “I reserve the right to cancel the show.”
“I feel honour bound to make an announcement of my own: I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present,” Clapton said at the time. “Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show.”
Performing at the Smoothie King in New Orleans on Saturday (September 18), Clapton broke his vow; according to the venue’s website, they require all those in attendance to have received at least one dose of a vaccine or provide a negative test result taken within 72 hours of attending an event, and to wear a mask while not eating or drinking.
The veteran rocker has been publicly vocal about his opposition to lockdown restrictions, even teaming up with Van Morrison, another sceptic, to release ‘Stand and Deliver’, an anti-lockdown song that was met with rampant backlash. He even released his own song, ‘This Has Gotta Stop’ in August.
Despite this, the artist is vaccinated, but criticised the “propaganda” promoting the vaccine’s safety, even claiming in May he had a “disastrous” reaction after experiencing side-effects.
“I took the first jab of AZ and straight away had severe reactions which lasted ten days,” Clapton wrote in a letter to anti-lockdown activist, Robin Monotti Graziadei. “I recovered eventually and was told it would be twelve weeks before the second one.
“About six weeks later I was offered and took the second AZ shot, but with a little more knowledge of the dangers. Needless to say the reactions were disastrous, my hands and feet were either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks, I feared I would never play again, (I suffer with peripheral neuropathy and should never have gone near the needle.) But the propaganda said the vaccine was safe for everyone.”