Fredericton — Organizers of the Harvest Music Festival received criticism and aggressive messages on social media last week when they posted a reminder for all patrons, volunteers and performing artists to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to attending.
“I feel blindsided,” said concert-goer Krystal Smith. “Apparently there’s this highly contagious respiratory virus going around with high rates of serious illness and hospitalization. Oh, and you won’t believe this. There’s a free vaccine available that has been shown to reduce your risk of death and hospitalization by over 90 per cent, but nobody told me. It’s ludicrous.”
“What’s that? Oh yeah. I live under that rock right over there.”
With 73 per cent of New Brunswickers having received a single dose of vaccine and only 60% being fully vaccinated, some geniuses are ready to throw in the towel as cases of the Delta variant climb rapidly among unvaccinated populations.
“We tried. Well, technically everyone else tried, I guess,” shrugged unvaccinated Facebook troll and pessimist Travis Cochrane. “I really wanted this Covid stuff to be over as quickly as possible. No masks, no restrictions, no travel bans. The ironic part is that I can’t bring myself to do anything about it. It’s just easier to sit around, complain, and argue with common sense solutions online in my spare time, and wait for the fever and chills to set in. Do you feel a draft?”
Some attendees are concerned that providing their vaccination status is an infringement on their privacy.
“I can’t even,” sighed Melonie Sparkes. “My vaccination record isn’t meant to be flashed around to a random volunteer or security person at the gate. They could be sketchy! It’s was only meant for the eyes of my 5,000 Facebook and Instagram followers to see my name, address, phone number and Medicare number when I took a selfie with it online. This is my private health information! That means its private!”
We interviewed a number of Harvest musicians to see if they supported concert-goers being vaccinated.
“Well, that’s kind of a stupid question,” said July Talk guitarist Ian Docherty. “If people weren’t being vaccinated, there wouldn’t be a Festival. I wouldn’t be able to get back on the road, see my fans, and pay my bills. We’d be in the same mess we were in this time last year, or worse.”
The Manatee also asked longtime Harvest performer and Minister of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell if she would like all her audience members to be vaccinated.
“Seriously? I can feel their spit from the first two rows. I’m thinking about putting up a plexiglass sneeze guard just so those snivelling anti-vaxxers can’t get near me. You want to infect each other? Fine. But stay away from me and my sanitized jazz hands!”
Brent Staeben, director of music programming for the festival, says his highest priority is to provide a safe environment for the artists and concertgoers.
“We reached out with a survey in June, and those who responded had overwhelming support for everyone attending to be fully vaccinated. Oh, and yes, I’ve read a few of the comments online.”
“My body, my choice? My festival, my rules. If you don’t like it, stay home.”
With headliners Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit and The Revivalists causing high demand for tickets, unvaccinated patrons should have no problem unloading their tickets on their vaccinated friends. Unless they’re hypocrites.