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Performing artists in Seattle appreciative of strict COVID-19 vaccination rules

Ann Wilson of '70s rock band Heart will perform at the Neptune Theatre for final leg of a 2021 tour.

SEATTLE — Many performing arts venues in Seattle have implemented a COVID-19 vaccination requirement ahead of King County's October deadline for people ages 12 and up to show proof at certain indoor and outdoor establishments and events.

The stringent rules have performing artists saying it is valuable in keeping the music going.

Ann Wilson of '70s rock band Heart is on the latter part of her solo tour and will perform at the Neptune Theatre Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

"Seattle has always had a really active music scene," said Wilson.

Wilson, a native of Bellevue who spent several years in Capitol Hill, said she appreciates returning to her hometown for shows. Wilson said she has performed at venues in New York, Connecticut and Florida this year.

"I don't think there's any other place that I've been this year that's been quite as responsible as Seattle," explained Wilson.

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Seattle Theatre Group (STG), which operates the Neptune, Moore and Paramount theatres in Seattle, required vaccination proof or a negative COVID-19 test in the summer. It's a rule that spectators and artists alike have appreciated.

The pandemic was not kind to performing artists, who had to cancel shows and entire tours. Wilson also had to cancel her tour last year.

"There were a few moments when I went, oh my god this COVID is going to put the lid on all of us," said Wilson.

But touring again and performing at venues that have stringent rules has brought her peace of mind.

"I was really glad to see the STG thing they have going at the Neptune, the Paramount and the Moore where you can't even come to the show unless you have the vax card," said Wilson.

High Dive, a local concert venue in Fremont, is also requiring vaccination proof or a negative COVID-19 test ahead of King County's Oct. 25 deadline.

"The whole point of coming out and playing music for people is to have that communal experience, to have people vibe off the same energy and the last thing you want to be thinking about is am I putting someone at risk by doing our art right now?" said Rick Sullivan, of Kalimocho Boys.

The band formed in Seattle during the pandemic.

"We all want to get back to normalcy or whatever will be in the future, but we have to be patient and take every precaution that we can," said Jonny Fisher, Kalimocho Boys' lead singer.

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