JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s been a hot minute since the Rolling Stones made River City history.
Now, two years and a pandemic later, fans will again take to TIAA Bank Field for live music Saturday night. The “Hella Mega” tour had been postponed in 2020 but features rockers Green Day, Weezer, Fallout Boy, and The Interrupters.
Chad Johnson is the chief content officer and senior vice president of sales and service. He’s heard the fan reaction.
“Our concerts have been top attendance that we’ve seen in years,” Johnson said. “So, people are excited to get back and just feel normal and enjoy themselves.”
Johnson says he’s expecting a packed house. With that, he says a task force made up of medical officials, JSO, JFRD, and an internal team is working with local, state, and CDC officials to help keep fans safe at the show. He says fans can expect a lot once they get inside. While there will not be pod-seating like fans saw at the stadium last year, people are encouraged to wear masks if they’re not vaccinated, and especially in indoor spaces.
Getting through the front doors will also be contactless. In addition, Johnson says the whole venue will be cashless, so a credit card or another form of mobile payment will come in handy. Workers will also be disinfecting and wiping down surfaces.
“At our concession stands in areas where fans congregate, we do have a queuing system to try to keep people socially distance in those spaces,” Johnson said. “We’ve added a ton of point-of-sale locations for both merchandise and food and beverage throughout the blueprint so that we can encourage people to spread out.”
But with COVID cases still rising, there is concern among those in the healthcare field. News4jax spoke with Baptist Health’s chief medical officer, Dr. Timothy Groover.
“The problem with attending large-scale events is that you don’t know who is vaccinated and who is not vaccinated,” Dr. Groover said. “And we know here in Duval County, about half of our residents are vaccinated and those people are at a higher risk and exposure.”
Dr. Groover says your best bet is to get vaccinated. Johnson says for this to work, everyone needs to be a team.
“The key is that the fans have to be on this journey with us. And if we provide a safe environment and put the protocols in place and they follow them, then we know we have safe environments.”
There are still some tickets available. Johnson asks people who aren’t feeling well Saturday or have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to please stay home. People are also encouraged to arrive early. For more information about the show, visit: https://tiaabankfield.com/hella-mega