Global entertainment company Live Nation announced last Friday (Aug. 6) that they will now allow artists the choice to implement COVID-19 safety mandates for fans attending their concerts. According to Rolling Stone, those requirements -- which include attendees showing a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination at the point of entry -- come in the wake of a Lollapalooza festival which implemented similar rules.

The news arrived in a company-wide email sent by CEO Michael Rapino, which Rolling Stone obtained. The email also specified that Live Nation employees will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine, a mandate which is already being enforced by companies such as Google, Disney, Microsoft and more.

"We believe this is a great model, and we have already implemented this successfully at many major shows including Lollapalooza," Rapino says, of giving artists the choice about how to handle vaccination and testing policies at their shows. "

"We know people are eager to return to live events, and we hope these measures encourage even more people to get vaccinated," he continues. "That is the number one thing anyone can do to take care of those around them and we are encouraging as many shows as possible to adopt this model."

On a local level, multiple country venues in Nashville have already changed their requirements for entry to enforce similar protocols. Local music hub The 5 Spot recently announced that they'll require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entry, for example; those who can't get vaccinated can also present a 72-hour negative COVID-19 test at the door. As of Aug. 2, City Winery Nashville is also requiring patrons to present proof of vaccination or a negative test in order to attend events.

Meanwhile, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit have also imposed similar mandates for their current run of shows at Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater. In order to attend the events, which run from Aug.7-9, fans will need to present proof of vaccination or a negative 72-hour test. According to a tweet from ACL Live, those protocols are at the request of the artist, and masking is also mandatory at the shows.

Top Country Songs of 2021, Ranked

You'll find much more than just the Top 10 Country Songs of 2021 on this list. Enjoy the 21 best country songs of the year, based on Taste of Country staff and country music fan opinion, plus commercial data (sales, streaming, airplay).

To be considered, the song must have been released in 2021 or have actively charted for a portion of the year (see "Wine, Beer, Whiskey"). New artists including Lainey Wilson, Larry Fleet and Morgan Wade crack the top songs list, while hitmakers including Thomas Rhett, Jason Aldean and Luke Combs make the Top 10.

Let us know your favorite song of 2021 on Twitter, or email us at

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