Eric Clapton says he will not perform at any venues that require proof of vaccination. The musician issued the statement following the UK government announcement that “vaccination passports” would be mandatory for access to all venues and nightclubs by the end of September.
“I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present,” said Clapton in a statement. “Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show.”
The musician made his statements through the Instagram account of British architect and film producer Robin Monotti, who has also been outspoken against vaccines.
This is not the first run-in with the vaccines for Clapton. In May, Clapton said he had severe reactions after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, which left his hands and feet numb for weeks, making him question whether he would ever be able to play guitar again.
A spokesperson for The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the UK government body overseeing the vaccine, stated that more than 56 million doses of vaccines had been administered in the UK, saving thousands of lives. “Our advice remains that the benefits of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca outweigh the risks in the majority of people,” said the MHRA in a statement in May. “It is still vitally important that people come forward for their vaccination when invited to do so.”
Calling the government mandate for vaccines “the propaganda,” Clapton also joined Van Morrison in December 2020 for an anti-lockdown collaboration, “Stand and Deliver,” reiterating their stance against pandemic procedures, singing But not a word you heard was true / But if there’s nothing you can say / There may be nothing you can do / Do you wanna be a free man / Or do you wanna be a slave?
Clapton is scheduled to kick off a month-long run of U.S. shows starting Sept. 13 in Fort Worth, Texas and closing on Sept. 26 in Hollywood, Florida, before continuing on to a European tour in 2022, beginning with two nights at the Royal Albert Hall in London on May 7 and 8.