In many ways, Teenage Bottlerocket’s sold-out Saturday night concert at the Skatepark of Tampa (SPoT) looked like a lot of the other concerts happening in Florida lately—folks gathered closely, unmasked and often sweaty.
But there was one difference for this gig: a virtual guarantee that the person next to you was vaccinated against coronavirus.
When Leadfoot Promotions first announced its St. Petersburg concert from the Wyoming pop-punk band, promoter Paul Williams priced tickets at $18 for those who could prove their vaccination status at the door, and $999.99 for those who could not.
When Creative Loafing Tampa Bay first reported the concert, no one seemed to mind, but then the rest of the internet caught on, and news about the gig—with Fat Wreck Chords’ MakeWar and Tampa Bay’s own Rutterkin on support—went, err, viral, with seemingly every news station, cable news outlet and blog jumping into coverage. The Washington Post post even got Gov. Ron DeSantis to comment on the show.
Williams and the band then got blowback (along with the other kinds of things anti-vaxxers do to those who try to have a safe show by even suggesting vaxx cards might be checked), but Teenage Bottlerocket stood by Williams, even as the original venue backed out of its commitment to host the show.
But at SPoT, Teenage Bottlerocket guitarist and singer Ray Carlisle addressed the run-up to the sold-out show.
“They came for us,” he said before laughing and adding that, “I became a spokesperson for a pro-vaxx movement that does not exist.”
Still, Carlisle said, “We survived.”—Ray Roa
06/26/2021 | Photos by Anthony Martino
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