The news cycle moves quickly sometimes. Late last night, I wrote an article about Hannah Wants and whether she would have a response about the news that 51st State Festival had made it mandatory to show proof of vaccine, a negative test or proof of recent infection in order to gain entry.
It was published this morning. Not long after it appeared, 51st State backtracked. It will now be optional. In accordance with the guidelines the government has laid down for England, doing a test before entry will be encouraged, but not essential. Cue another victory for the anti-vaxxers out there.
The question, however, of why they seem to have had a change of heart remains a mystery. Allow me to shed some light on the situation. An insider on the festival circuit spoke to me this afternoon and confirmed there appeared to have been a rebellion from some of the DJs booked to appear.
I must emphasise my source does not know exactly who is involved, but it’s believed that Hannah Wants – a known anti-vaxxer – was not. My source said “I think it’s the non-British DJs that caused the change of heart. Some of them come from countries where these things aren’t a requirement, whereas others are saying it would be impractical”.
When I asked what he meant by “impractical”, he explained “A few of these DJs are effectively treating 51st State like part of a tour. Some of them say getting hold of these tests is logistically difficult when travelling between many countries, others say they have their own arrangements in place and extra tests are not necessary”.
I verified this information with another source, and it all seems to check out. So it looks like the festival organisers decided to pander to the egos of DJs who didn’t want to be inconvenienced. Travel restrictions in place across many countries mean booking a replacement in a hurry isn’t always easy. Less forgivable is the undeserved victory they’ve given to the loud, dangerous and fact-free anti-vaxxers…