Rolling Stones bring satisfaction to Tampa after COVID-postponed show

Friday night, Ray Jay was rocking and it was most certainly rolling. The Rolling Stones brought their "No Filter" tour to Tampa after COVID-19 shutdowns postponed the show for more than a year. Tens of thousands of fans were overdue for some much-needed "Satisfaction."

"This is our first time in Tampa," said Miguel Paulini, visiting from Argentina. "It was our dream to see a show in the USA."

"How do you not love this? It's the best. It's Mick!" said Donna Perkins from Sarasota.

But with COVID still very much a reality, events like these are operating a bit differently. Safety protocols will depend largely on the specific venues and performers.

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At Raymond James Stadium, masks are recommended, not required. The same goes at Amalie Arena. Some performers like the Rolling Stones simply ask fans to be careful. 

"We've all had the shot and you'd better get one, too," they said in a video posted to Twitter. "So, if you're not vaccinated, get tested. If they want the masks on, put 'em on, it's no big deal."

Others, like Jimmy Buffet who's at Amalie Arena Dec. 4th, are requiring a negative test or proof of full vaccination. That's also the policy at MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre.

Jannus Live in St. Pete posted on Facebook that the shot is not required.

At the Straz Center, everyone ages 5 and up must have a negative test or voluntarily show proof of vaccination. 

"For our indoor shows, we're requiring that guests provide a negative COVID test result," said C.J. Marshall, Straz Center's Senior Director of Operations. "They can give us either a PCR test result taken within 72 hours of the performance or an antigen test result within 24 hours. Or, in lieu of that, if they'd like to voluntarily show us their vaccination credential, we'll accept that as well for any fully vaccinated guests." 

The Straz Center invested over a million dollars in its HVAC and air handling systems for even greater filtration. 

"We are still requiring guests to wear masks while inside the auditorium. Food and beverage is being served in our lobby spaces but is not allowed in the auditorium," Marshall said. "Everybody is just so glad to be back and we're certainly glad to have them back as well." 

Though Florida law prohibits organizers from requiring proof of vaccination by adding the testing option, they get around it.

"It's going to be so cool to have 50-60,000 people all together cheering and making noise," said Jeremy Hart, visiting from Memphis.

While fans may not have wanted to wait an extra year to hear their favorite songs, a wise man once said, "you can't always get what you want."

"But if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need," Perkins said, quoting the famous song.