Madison Square Garden was rocking again over the weekend, for the first time in 15 months. In what CBS New York calls a "huge step for New York's reopening," the New York City arena saw 15,000 or so fans show up for the Foo Fighters concert on Sunday evening, the first full-capacity event at MSG since the pandemic began. Attendees started showing up hours before the event, which included a surprise appearance by comedian Dave Chappelle singing Radiohead's "Creep." Concertgoers were required to be vaccinated, shown via their vaccination card, a photo of it, or their New York state Excelsior Pass, along with photo ID; kids under 16 had to provide either proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test and be accompanied by a vaxxed adult, per the Wall Street Journal.
Those who've gotten their jabs say they appreciate the vaccination requirement. "If it wasn't a vaccinated event, I probably wouldn't be as likely to go," one attendee says. Not everyone was happy about that mandate, though: Anti-vaxxers gathered outside the Garden to protest the provision, saying it was unfair to keep those who've decided not to get vaccinated out of events as the country's reopening picks up pace. "Should we be forced to take a vaccine or lose our freedom?" one protester noted to CBS. For those whose tickets gained them entry, however, the event was a hopeful and celebratory one. "No one seems anything but ecstatic," one concertgoer told the Journal. "What better exemplifies the freedom of this being over than a rock concert?" (Read more Foo Fighters stories.)