Gig-goers who have not had Covid vaccine to be charged £700 more for tickets

A Florida-based gig promoter has vowed to charge keen gig-goers who have had their Covid vaccine hundreds of dollars less than those without the jab for concert tickets.

Paul Williams is encouraging music lovers and those who regularly attend gigs to get the vaccine by selling those who have had both doses seats for $18 (£12.69) and those who have not $999.99 (£704.96).

In April, the Florida state governor Republican Ron DeSantis made an order banning businesses and companies from making customers prove they had been vaccinated.

However, Mr Williams says he’s found a way around the law which threatens rule-breakers with fines in the range of thousands of dollars.

He said: “I’m not denying entry to anyone. I’m just offering a discount.”

But the state governor’s office has now said the difference in price amounts to discrimination against certain groups of people.

The officer’s press secretary Christina Pushaw told the Washington Post: “Charging higher ticket prices for individuals who do not furnish proof of vaccination unfairly discriminates against people who have enumerated rights under Florida law.”

Mr Williams is confident he can pull it off partly because the order carries limited penalties, he says.

The new law also does not come into effect until later in June, by which time he will be preparing for a gig in St Petersburg, Russia.

But since announcing the tactics the musician and promoter has faced an online backlash from critics.

He claims one email even warned: “Your fans are going to kill you.”

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“I didn’t know that caring about my community would make me Hitler,” he told the Washington Post.

He claims he is still “sticking to his guns” and has almost sold out of the discounted tickets – though not a single full-price ticket had been bought as of Saturday morning.

The executive order says business in Florida may not demand “any documentation certifying Covid-19 vaccination or post-transmission recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the business”.

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