With a handful of Milwaukee venues like The Cooperage once again requiring masks for entry, the Cactus Club is taking an additional—and perhaps inevitable—public health step by requiring proof of vaccination for its events. The venerable Bay View club made the announcement on Thursday. The vaccination requirement—the first of its kind for a Milwaukee venue—goes into effect Monday, August 9.

A Facebook post reads:

Our first priority is to be an accessible, welcoming space that centers the safety and well-being of the many communities we’re a part of and serve. This is an incredibly tricky time for us as a venue that brings people together.

All of our staff are vaccinated. Performing artists and attendees of events will need proof of vaccination beginning this Monday, August 9.

Please be patient and respectful to staff as we navigate these constantly evolving circumstances. If you’ve purchased an advanced ticket and can no longer attend, we are happy issue full refunds.

We’re still asking guests to follow CDC guidelines and to wear masks indoors when not actively drinking.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions. We’re more eager to be on the other side of this than we can adequately put into words. In love and solidarity, cactus

Earlier this week, Japanese Breakfast announced a mask and proof-of-vaccination requirement for future shows. Japanese Breakfast is scheduled to perform at Turner Hall Ballroom on September 17. Valley Maker and Bully have done the same, and are scheduled to perform at The Back Room @ Colectivo on August 26 and 30, respectively.

Turner Hall and The Back Room are operated by the Pabst Theater Group. As of Thursday, those venues—plus The Pabst Theater and Riverside Theater—do not require proof of vaccination for all shows.

“As it stands currently, the Pabst Theater Group requests that customers comply with all CDC guidelines relating to masks,” a Pabst spokeswoman told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Certain events, however, may have enhanced safety requirements relating to vaccinations, testing or masks based on artist requests, local guidelines or other outstanding conditions.”

During a media briefing earlier this week, Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said that talks with indoor venues about mask and vaccine requirements were ongoing, but that nothing had been finalized.

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.

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