John Cooper and Skillet Won’t Play Venues Mandating COVID-19 Vaccination


The Popular Christian rock band Skillet announced Tuesday that it wouldn’t play at venues that mandate concertgoers be COVID-19 vaccinated to attend shows.

Starting September 12, 2021, Skillet is scheduled to embark on a 23-city tour spanning the United States. Lead signer and Cooper Stuff Podcast host John Cooper took to social media to explain the band’s decision.

The outspoken rocker said performing at venues that mandate vaccines is something he is “unwilling to do.” The other members of Skillet, Cooper’s wife and guitarist Korey, drummer Jen Ledger, and lead guitarist Seth Morrison share the same sentiment as their lead singer.

Speaking about the group’s decision, Cooper said, “I know this is going to make some people happy [and] it’s going to make some people mad.” The Sick of It singer shared that he does not want to make people mad, “but it is a matter of conviction for me.”

Breaking down what the band’s convictions about mandates means, Cooper told fans that the band will only be playing concert venues that allow non-vaccinated attendees to bring a negative COVID-19 test result to gain entry to the show.

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“I’m not going to lie to you guys,” Cooper said, “I don’t like this either. It is not ideal.” The Awake & Alive to Truth: Finding Truth in the Chaos of a Relativistic World author laid out two options the band is currently faced with. Option one is to cancel the tour and option two is to play venues that allow fans to bring a negative test result for those who aren’t vaccinated.

“I know this is going to make people disappointed on all sides of the fence for all sorts of different reasons. That’s not my aim,” Cooper said. “It’s just a really difficult time.”

Cooper said Skillet wants to treat fans to a great rock show and has no intentions of disappointing people with their upcoming tour decision. While some churches have announced they require proof of a COVID-19 vaccination in order to gather within their buildings doors, Cooper indicates that not wavering in his convictions will result in not being able to please everyone.

Skillet Fans React

Cooper’s explanation on Instagram alone has been viewed over 82,000 times and resulted in hundreds of comments, most of which praise Skillet for its decision and for not bending on their convictions.

One commenter wrote: “I LOVE THIS!!!! Thank you for the clarification, I’m with you 100%. Choices are so so important. PROUD OF YOU.”

While another said, “I respect you even more for sticking to your own convictions even through this. Rock on, and more importantly God bless you all.”

“Love this!!! We need more bands, singers, professional sports teams to STAND UP and refuse to play if stadiums are going against our health rights by denying us entertainment due to our vaccine status,” one fan said. “THANK YOU for using your platform to do so! Hoping you guys get a killer tour!”

Some vaccinated fans spoke up for venues requiring negative tests: “I’m vaccinated, and I am in no way standing on a soapbox to change anti-vaxxers minds. However, to say that proof of a negative test is wrong, too, doesn’t sit well with me. Venues are doing their best to keep people safe and healthy. Also, from what I’ve seen; most anti-vaxxers are also anti-maskers. So one COVID-positive person can infect an ENTIRE arena. I guess that’s why I don’t see any Philly venues on your list…because most if not all of them are requiring at least a negative test.”

Jesse T. Jackson
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Jesse is the Content Editor/Site Manager for ChurchLeaders and ChristianNewsNow. An undeserving husband to a beautiful wife, and a father to 4 beautiful children. He serves as a deacon, a growth group leader, and is a member of University Baptist Church in Beavercreek, Ohio. Follow him on twitter here (https://twitter.com/jessetjackson)