PAX West, set for Labor Day weekend in Seattle, will require attendees to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid test in order to be admitted.  The policy by the show, run by Penny Arcade and geek event powerhouse ReedPop, takes health and safety policies to a new level, as the Delta variant of the coronavirus creates a new surge in Covid cases in the U.S.  Pax West is the first major live geek culture show in the U.S. since the advent of the global pandemic and its requirements for attendance are the strictest we’ve seen.

Vaccinations must be completed at least 14 days before the show and validated by specific types of documentation.  If the attendee chooses the testing option, they must provide proof of a negative antigen COVID-19 test within six hours of the event start time, or proof of a negative PCR COVID—19 test within 72 hours of each day of entry to the event.  Masks will be required for all attendees.

Other September events have chosen different paths, at least to date.  Florida SuperCon, another ReedPop show, is requiring (without enforcement) that unvaccinated persons wear a face mask.  The organizer’s hands may be tied in Florida, where the state legislature passed a law in May prohibiting businesses from requiring vaccinations to receive services.  The show will be held the weekend of September 10-12.

Gen Con, planned for September 16-19 in Indianapolis, is requiring masks be worn by unvaccinated attendees, enforced by a wristband issued to attendees providing proof of vaccination (see "Gen Con Announces Updated Protocols").

All shows are letting attendees and potential attendees know that policies may change depending on the public health situation at the time of the event.  It will be interesting to see if Pax West starts a trend as show organizers re-evaluate risks closer to show time.