Texas music venue receives extreme backlash for vaccinated-only concert: ‘Like we ripped a picture of the Pope in half’

Country musician Jason Isbell performing live in 2017.  (Getty Images)
Country musician Jason Isbell performing live in 2017. (Getty Images)

A music venue in Fort Worth, Texas called Billy Bob’s Texas is receiving backlash for announcing earlier this week they have a new vaccination policy for all guests.

The policy has been set for a gig by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, a country group from Nashville.

Speaking about the criticism for hosting a vaccine-only concert. the venue’s general manager, Marty Travis, said he has been referred to as "Hitler."

“I don’t care if they call me Janet Jackson. Let’s just get to the show and have a good time and move on to our next gig. It’s not that big a deal,” Travis told Rolling Stone in a recent interview.

“But, man, it is Uproar City down here, like I ripped a picture of the pope in half.”

In June, Texas governor Greg Abbot signed a policy that made it illegal for all Texas businesses to require their customers to be vaccinated. According to the legislation, businesses may lose their liquor license or other contracts and permits if they create their own vaccine mandates.

Travis is still moving forward with the vaccine mandate at Billy Bob’s.

“I’m not trying to make history, I’m just trying to make a living,” he continued. “I think if I stuck my neck out there and said, ‘This is Billy Bob’s policy,’ they might come after me. But I’m doing one event, one night. By the time I get to Saturday morning, nobody’s going to give a s***.”

Ahead of tonight’s concert, Isbell announced that all his concerts going forward would require attendees to show proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test.

The Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter posted on Twitter today: “Bring your vax card or negative test and mask up and let’s have ourselves a good time.”

He recently cancelled a concert in Houston, Texas, when a venue declined to comply with his proof of vaccination policy.

The concert was then moved from the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion to Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, a city that is a four-hour drive from Houston.

Texas’ most popular region, Harris County, has defied its governor with a mask mandate, just as the state has seen a growing number of delta variant cases in its hospitals. The hospital admission for children with the virus is at a record high in Texas.

“You have to have an ID to get a stamp to get a drink. You have to have a ticket to get to the door,” said Travis.

“Well, now, you have to have the vaccine card or a 72-hour Covid-19 test. To me, operationally, it’s just another checkpoint.”

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