Many musicians are having to get creative in order to perform safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Dave Matthews Band Is the latest group that has been affected. Two members of the band, bass player Carter Beauford and drummer Stefan Lessard, contracted breakthrough cases of COVID-19 ahead of the three-night concert series at Gorge Amphitheater in Seattle. Musicians from their opening bands ended up filling In for the weekend shows.
Matthews himself broke the news to the crowd himself. “I hope you’ll bear with us tonight because due to COVID-19, Carter Beauford and Stefan Lessard are not able to be here,” Matthews explained. “So, we are going to do our best with our friends to make tonight a beautiful experience for you. I only hope that it can be. But thank you and I hope that you understand.”
Thank you for all the support!
— dave matthews band (@davematthewsbnd) September 4, 2021
“My dear friend Carter and my dear friend Stefan both seem to be, not battling, ’cause they’re both vaccinated but… we want to set an example and they both apparently tested positive,” Matthews continued. “So they’re not here with us this evening but we will play the evening for them. Because that’s what we got to do. And tomorrow is another day.”
This news came after the mid-August rollout of new COVID-19 regulations for concertgoers. “All ticket holders for all announced dates must provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48-hours prior to entry,” reads the official Dave Matthews Band website. “Children under the age of 12 may attend the concert if they provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours (72 hours for Merriweather Post Pavilion) of the show. Ticket holders using a negative test for entry will not need to get subsequent tests if they are attending multiple shows at the same venue.” They also encouraged concert attendees to wear masks, especially when social distancing wasn’t possible.