Some Tulsa Venues Requiring COVID-19 Vaccination Or Negative Test To Attend Shows

Thursday, August 19th 2021, 9:38 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Three Tulsa venues announced they are standing in solidarity to keep their industry open during the pandemic as COVID-19 cases rise across the state.

Mercury Lounge, The Whittier Bar and Barkingham Palace told News On 6 there has been mostly positive feedback to their new policy so far.

Mercury Lounge's new policy for shows took effect Aug. 19.

The policy requires everyone to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least two weeks before or show proof of a negative test. Guests could also get a rapid test there for $15, which covers the cost of the test and a nurse to administer the test.

Carl Carbonell, one of the performers on the first night of the new policy at Mercury Lounge, said he agrees with the policy.

"In addition to, like, me being a fan of science and compassion, I'd like to do whatever it takes to keep playing music, keep seeing music myself," said Carbonell.

Mercury Lounge Co-owner Bobby Dean Orcutt spoke at Monday's Tulsa City Council special meeting.

“We look like a joke right now due to our inaction," Orcutt said at the meeting.

Orcutt is calling for the city and businesses to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

"Not just at bars and venues, but at restaurants and any kind of place where people gather,” said Orcutt. “People should probably get used to this being the new norm for a while.”

At the Whittier Bar, the same policy will start August 21st. Co-owner Nick Flores said he hopes it will help his business get back to what it used to be.

"Ultimately, what I would like to see is some help from the city and state government so that we aren't actually going at this alone," said Flores.

At Barkingham Palace, the all-ages venue started implementing the same policy August 17th.

Back at Mercury Lounge, live music fan Nick Carson, said he is excited to support venues that take the pandemic more seriously.

"I have not been to a lot of shows in the past year and a half but knowing that they're taking a proactive approach to it, makes me a lot more relaxed to be at the show tonight," said Carson.

The three venues said they want to help other businesses update their policies.

In Oklahoma City, Ponyboy and Tower Theatre announced Aug. 19 they are implementing the same policy starting Sept. 8.

All venues said their new policy will remain in effect until the data reflects a warranted change to lesser measures.