Westville Music Bowl encouraging teens to get vaccinated while providing fun, free event

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Thousands of teenagers are seeing a free live show in New Haven on Wednesday, which is hosted by the city.

There’s a mask mandate even though it’s outdoors and the mayor and city health director will be in attendance to monitor and interact with the teens. They’re also having the musical acts encourage getting vaccinated to try to reach that key age group where vaccine rates have slowed.

Westville Music Bowl opened in the spring as the city’s premier new concert venue. Now, officials want to make sure New Haven youth have a chance to experience it. Youth services with help from city hall, police, and fire are throwing the free youth concert for the first time since the pandemic.

“We gave away 8,000 tickets in 27 minutes. Tickets went expeditiously quick,” said Ronald Huggins.

Huggins with Youth and Recreation organized the show. He wanted an accessible, outdoor event for inner-city youth.

“Oftentimes, what we see is that these artists come to town, but these kids, our kids, inner-city kids, they can’t afford to attend. So, when you look at the concert, you don’t really see our kids at the concerts, our kids at the front,” Huggins said.

With COVID spiking across the city and state, the city has put in place a mask mandate for all concert-goers.

RELATED: New Haven now requiring masks at all indoor establishments regardless of vaccination status

“The venue is well aware of what the COVID restrictions are by the state and by the city because we are the city, we’re going above and beyond those protocols,” Huggins said.

PSAs by the mayor, health director, and police chief will be airing throughout, staff will be monitoring mask-wearing, musical artists will be encouraging vaccines, hoping to reach that key 16 to 24 age group, which lags behind.

“We’re really pushing it, so people feel like, ‘hey, we can get back to some sense of normalcy,’” Huggins said.

Westville Music Bowl is one of the venues now thinking about instituting a permanent vaccine policy to make sure anybody coming in has a vaccine.

For more information about the event, head to https://www.westvillemusicbowl.com/.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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