Benee, Neil Finn, Ladyhawke join #VaxForLive campaign to urge Kiwis to get vaccinated

Benee, Neil Finn and Ladyhawke are among a host of Kiwi music stars and promoters coming together for a new campaign urging New Zealanders to get vaccinated and save the live music industry. 

The #VaxForLive campaign launched on Friday morning with the tagline: "Vax Together, Stay Together', and includes testimonials from Aotearoa's biggest artists on why the COVID-19 vaccine is vital. 

Benee urged music-lovers to get the jab to protect both themselves and those who are vulnerable, adding she felt she needed to "take a stand" on the issue to ensure the safety of her family, friends, fans, band and crew members. 

"If you want to go to shows please get vaccinated!" she said. 

"You're not just protecting yourselves but others who may be vulnerable! This vaccine has been proven to reduce hospitalisations and deaths. 

"I feel like I need to stand on this to protect my family, friends, band, my crew and my supporters, to keep all of them safe. Without the vaccine there won't be any shows! 

"I've had mine! Get yours if you are able to please.”

Meanwhile, Crowded House and Fleetwood Mac member Neil Finn recalled playing shows in New Zealand in March, highlighting the "joy and freedom" live concerts bring. 

"Crowded House were truly blessed to play shows in Aotearoa NZ in March. Live concerts bring joy and freedom that lift the spirits of audience and artists alike," he said. 

"This summer NZ will be open again for concerts but you will need to be vaccinated against COVID. Come on everyone, we've had the vaccine, it's safe and it's keeping the ones we love safe." 

Ladyhawke said for her, getting the vaccine is "all about protection". 

"Protecting the people who I love who cannot get vaccinated because they're immunocompromised. Or because they're ineligible, like my daughter who's just about to turn four," she said. 

"And after almost two years of not being able to tour internationally, the vaccine gives me the best protection to be able to do the job that I love. 

"I cannot wait to be on stage playing music again here in Aotearoa, and the best way for us to get to that summer of gigs and dancing is to be vaccinated. For our whanau, for our communities, and for ourselves." 

Theia said that everyone should "contribute to fight COVID-19" by getting immunised. 

"Me kaha taatou ki te patu i a Korona ki te rongoaa aaraimate. Kia okaina ia o taatou, ka ora ai te ao puuoro," she said. 

"We should all contribute to fight COVID-19 by being vaccinated. Through this, our music industry will flourish again."

Reb Fountain added she understood what it was like to feel hesitant about vaccines, but said for her, getting vaccinated means shes "doing her best to protect her friends, whanau and herself." 

"If you haven’t already been vaccinated please do it now. If you’re scared or hesitant it’s OK - book a consultation with your GP and they can advise you. 

"We're all in this together - I can't wait to play for you really soon." 

A statement from the campaign noted that Aotearoa had been lucky so far during the pandemic. 

"The first half of 2021 brought us many small and large-scale events in a time when the rest of the world was still in restriction," the statement read. 

"Because of our nation's hard and fast approach to lockdowns we have been rewarded with the freedoms to socialise and enjoy live music and entertainment together. We want that to continue and there is only one way for that to happen..." 

Event promoters like Brent Eccles from Eccles Entertainment and Frontier Touring, Mark Kneebone from Live Nation and Western Springs Speedway's John McCallum also lent their voices to the cause, dubbing vaccinations "our ticket to live shows this summer". 

The launch of the campaign comes after the Government announced vaccine certificates would be rolling out in November, and would likely be a requirement at large-scale events like summer music festivals.