Foo Fighters cancel Minneapolis concert for failing to require covid protocols

I feel like I have to qualify this every time I talk about him, but Dave Grohl and I are birthday twins. In addition to being just an all-around great guy, since we were born on the exact same day, I feel oddly connected to him. And like the Capricorn god that he is, he’s not messing around when it comes to Covid. Since the start, Dave and his band the Foo Fighters have been strong advocates for Covid precautions, mask mandates and vaccine education. Even following all ‘the rules,’ they were forced to postpone concert dates in July due to a member of their crew contracting the virus. Now, another concert has been trashed, but this time it’s the venue’s fault. The Huntington Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota does “not mandate masks, proof of vaccine or negative test results” for their football games and they refused to change this policy at the Foo Fighters’ request. So the band pulled the gig from the school and is looking for another spot in the Twin Cities area to play instead.

In a sign of the continuing chaos in the concert industry over COVID protocols, the Foo Fighters announced an Aug. 3 concert at the University of Minnesota’s Huntington Bank Stadium — then abruptly pulled it from the venue Tuesday over a disagreement on vaccine requirements.

A new Twin Cities location is being sought.

“Due to Huntington Bank Stadium’s refusal to agree to the band’s COVID policies, Foo Fighters are not going to be able to play at that venue,” the group’s statement read. “We apologize for any inconvenience and are working on finding a suitable replacement — one that will prioritize the health and safety of everyone working and attending the show.”

While the U has required students to be vaccinated since October (aside from medical or religious exceptions), Huntington Bank Stadium did not mandate masks, proof of vaccine or negative test results for Gopher football fans. Masks are required for indoor events at the university, however.

A university spokesman confirmed the stadium did not want to change its policies for this one concert.

“The university declined to change its existing protocols for large events, which have been effective,” public relations director Jake Ricker said via e-mail, noting the school’s high vaccination rate (more than 95% of its campus population. “We continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated, wear a mask when in large crowds, and take appropriate steps to protect public and personal health.”

[From Star Tribune]

I don’t understand the university’s position here. Why make a point about how high your vaccination rate is but not make an exception to lax Covid protocol rules for one night? It would be easy enough to put the onus on the band to publicize the restrictions for ticketholders. Maybe because the university provides the staff to check vaccine card and test results? They may not have the manpower. I’m not justifying this in any way, mind you. I am just trying to figure out why the university would dig their heels in over the Foo Fighters requesting better policies when clearly the campus promotes some Covid safety already.

The Foo Fighters, who were just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, are not the first to ask in the area, either. Harry Styles added requirements to his show at the Xcel Center. Both Elvis Costello and The Jonas Brothers asked Mystic Lake Casino to require proof of vaccine as well. The casino, however, refused. The Jonases still played but Elvis Costello moved his show. Who knows where The Foo Fighters will end up. The show is set for next August, but tickets were supposed to go on sale this Friday. Fingers crossed they find a more compliant venue. I’m not worried. If I know my b-day twin, he’ll figure it out.

Photo credit: Instagram

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39 Responses to “Foo Fighters cancel Minneapolis concert for failing to require covid protocols”

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  1. Libellule says:

    Good for them. And they give awesome concerts! I’ve seen them once during a music festival

  2. Jillian says:

    Good dude. I like that he acknowledged he has a responsibility to the people working at the show, not just the fans

  3. Memurs says:

    So I loved him already, but I just finished listening to Dave Grohl’s memoir yesterday. Highly recommend! Amazing stories and he comes across as such a good dude.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Memurs, thanks for the recommendation!! I love every interview he gives as he so down to earth and a lovely decent and good man. The fact that he pulled out due to the effects that everyone would not be safe. As soon as performers start telling venues, no shot-no got!, they will start begging for the city/state to start pulling their head out of their arse. Sorry, I know that’s cruel, but what the anti-vaxers are pulling is nothing but a tantrum. A tantrum to save you, your loved ones and strangers from not becoming deathly ill and/or die.

      FFS, it’s 2 small needles. Get off of your high selfish horse and grow up!! There are so many other important matters at hand, like women LOSING their access to abortions!!

  4. Grace says:

    I loved him already and now even more! I can’t wait to read his book! They are playing in my city in May, tickets go on sale Friday, and my keyboard fingers will be ready to “buy”! I can’t wait!

  5. Ainsley says:

    Pat just looks pleased as punch to be a part of things in their pics lol. Everyone else is posing and he’s smiling away.

    • FHMom says:

      Pat hasn’t aged. I always wonder if I’ll recognize him, and I always do. I’m so happy he has stayed a Foo Fighter.

  6. Lucy2 says:

    Good for them, all touring performers need to do this. Things only change when you hit the idiots in the wallet.

  7. aggie says:

    That university is delusional. Many less resourced universities are requiring masks and vaccinations of everyone on campus – student, staff, visitors – with no issues. They don’t want to, and are probably afraid of funding backlash from legislators. It’s disgusting.

    • Olive says:

      Neither the city nor state even have a mask mandate, and the likely reason is because the governor is up for reelection I believe next year and doesn’t want to lose any voters. The city mayor is hopeless.

    • Truthiness says:

      I am a long hauler who is having a time of it and my son goes to U of MN. There are a lot of students who feel being vaxed is enough, they don’t want to mask. My son gets pretty ragey over the mask refusers and has his own apt to stay away from them. His dad teaches law there but he switches over to zoom lectures at the drop of a hat, he loves how efficient zoom lets him be. He has an under 12 daughter from wife 2.0 who just tested both positive and negative, she only had one shot so far. You can imagine our Christmas discussions right now! Wife 2.0 is scheduled to remarry but that may get delayed, at least there are no vax/mask deniers in the entire lot of us. Nobody would even think about attending any concert whatsoever in our group, it’s too dicey.

  8. Ann says:

    I just bought his book yesterday for my husband!

  9. Katherine says:

    Fighting the good fight. Can’t believe how many public gatherings, shops, venues, salons, etc, and public transport entities are being reckless with their COVID safety measures. I’m grateful they are standing their ground on this, the more of us actually do the work to stop the pandemic, the better the chance this will be over, well, not soon, as it clearly won’t be with omicron, but soonish.

  10. liz says:

    They have been serious about this all along. Even back in June, before Delta, when they were the first band back at Madison Square Garden, they were requiring proof of vaccination (and masks for kids too young to be vaccinated). They put on a great show that night.

    It’s clear these guys love to perform and were waiting for the day they could go back out on the road. They just want to do it as safely as is reasonably possible. Requiring people to be vaccinated, even at an outdoor show, makes sense in the current environment (as I am sitting here with a sore arm from having gotten my booster yesterday).

  11. Anners says:

    Hecate – that means you’re also birthday twins with Jason Bateman and I definitely recommend the latest Smartless podcast episode – I think you’ll enjoy it!

  12. Aang says:

    I was at the BTS concert at SOFI Saturday. Ticket purchase stated that vaccine proof or negative test was mandatory to enter. 30 min before the concert there were still 20,000+ people outside waiting to get in. I think in an effort to avoid a stampede, they just opened the gates and let everyone in without even checking tickets, let alone bags for guns, or vaccine cards. It was chaos.

  13. Swack says:

    Just because 95% of the campus population is vaccinated means very little. There will be those who aren’t part of the campus population that will be attending the concert. Therefore the request is not an unreasonable one.

  14. Maida says:

    Such respect for Dave Grohl and the the Foos!

  15. Abby's Mom says:

    I am riding out the rest of the pandemic (or at least until my office reopens) at my parent’s house in western WI and I went to Minneapolis to see a cousin for one night (we are all vaxxed). It is appalling what is going on in these two states. NO ONE wears masks. EVER. People are behaving like the pandemic never happened, except the numbers are climbing and hospitals are filling, yet no masks. So, this news is not surprising to me at all. It is absolutely depressing and demoralizing.

    • Meg says:

      I grew up there, it just made the national news how filled the Minnesota hospitals are they had the national guard come in to hennepin county. People have just stuck their heads in the san, its inconvenient to respect the virus work to avoid it so they just ignore it all

      • Monica says:

        Minnesota is no longer the state I knew growing up. The U back then would never have flouted protocols during a pandemic and nobody would have had a problem with it.

    • Truthiness says:

      Minnesota just got their first case of Omicron. A double vaxed guy who went to a conference in NY at the Javits center.

  16. whatWHAT? says:

    side note to this story – Please watch the Hanukkah Sessions that Dave Grohl is doing. it’s on YouTube and he’s up to four for this season.

  17. Nuzzybear says:

    1. To my knowledge, Dave Grohl and I are not birthday twins. I realize I could just Google it and find out, but I’m lazy.
    2. I think it’s a venue issue. The stadium is open air and used for football games. If they change the rules and require vaccinations, masks, etc. there would be a huge protest. They need that football money, and the football crowd is generally not as scientifically-minded as the university in general.

    • liz says:

      It is a venue issue, but they can have different sets of rules for different events. Some events will be 18+ or 21+, others will not. Some events will sell alcohol, others will not. This sounds like it’s a combination of staffing concerns and poor policy decisions.

  18. Ivy says:

    GOOD. FOR. THEM. I hope they can find another venue that upholds their COVID policies. (Man, as an aside, I just adore Dave Grohl).

    It seems so crazy to be going to shows, but just last month I took my 12 year old to see Harry Styles, and it really proved this can be done safely when the artist cares to make it so and the venues cooperate. There was an open air merch stand the day before the show to decrease crowding the night of, a lovely artist recorded message about wearing our masks and taking care of one another, and overall I felt incredibly safe having my kid there. It *really* helped that our venue also had a great vaccine check system in place, I was shocked how smoothly getting into the event went. Artists like the Foo Fighters and Styles prove that it can be done!

  19. Nuzzybear says:

    Totally agree with you, Liz. They probably could change the rules for this concert, if they wanted to. My comment is about why they didn’t want to. As a MN resident and a UMN alum, there are enough nuts up here that if they adjusted the rules to require masks for an outdoor venue, there would be protests and boycotting going on. We’ve gone completely insane, here.

  20. atorontogal says:

    I love me some David Grohl! He has put out a song a night for Hannukah where he is singing songs by Jewish artists. Did anyone know the Ramone’s were Jewish? Here’s Copacabna (Barry Manilow), David does a great job!

  21. MelOn says:

    I have a thing for him, always have. He’s a good guy.

  22. MNMD says:

    I’m a doctor in MN. Things are really bad here. I barely leave my house because it’s so hard to go from the hospital full of covid patients to restaurants where no one is masked. My understanding is that the (republican controlled) state senate stripped Gov Walz of most of his powers to mandate anything. He advocated good policies when he was still able. Unless this concert was only for University students (not the case), to use the vaccination rate of university students is disingenuous because any venue in the middle of Minneapolis is going to attract just as many non students. Minnesota is really a mess but it is not the fault of our governor.

  23. AllKeyedUp says:

    Concerts this year have been amazing. So much energy. And the vaccine check goes fine. They already have to check bags so it just means an extra person standing at security asking to see the vaccine proof or proof of negative test.

    BUT Foo Fighters? I mean no offense but — dont think my first show after quarantine would have been the Applebees of rock?

  24. CV says:

    if you’re birthday twins w Dave Grohl then you’re birthday twins w Jason Bateman too! Listen to his excellent interview on Smartless 🙂