Calgary Stampede saddled up and ready, new entry rules for Nashville North

Standing in line at Nashville North won't be part of the Calgary Stampede experience this year.

Instead, the popular live music venue on the grounds will use digital queuing to ensure distancing.

"Digital queuing prevents the need to physically stand in line. You can head out and enjoy everything else Stampede Park has to offer,” says Jim Laurendeau, vice-president responsible for programming and operations.

"When it’s your turn to enter, you will receive a notification. It’s just that easy.”

Guests will also be asked to show proof of having at least one vaccination before entering — received at least two weeks prior — or take an onsite rapid test.

“Ensuring the safety of Calgary Stampede participants is a top priority. To this end, 19 To Zero will be partnering with the Calgary Stampede to implement a proof of vaccination/rapid testing program for all who visit Nashville North. This is in addition to work both organizations have done in collaboration to promote vaccine uptake which is the single best protection against COVID-19,” says Dr. Jia Hu, partner of 19 to Zero and Calgary Stampede advisor.

The venue will be a "canopy-style" this year, rather than the traditional tent, and will be located next to the Stampede Grandstand.

Entry to Nashville North is free with admission to the Stampede grounds.

Live music will be featured daily during the Stampede, and the full lineup can be found online.

The new entry protocols were unveiled as part of a tour Stampede official provided for the media on Tuesday.

Ticket sales for Stampede have been "incredible" in recent days, said Laurendeau, after being somewhat slow following the initial announcement the 10-day event will go ahead this year.

"The momentum is really building. I think when we initially would have come out to announce this year's Calgary Stampede, there was still some wait-and-see happening," he said.

"But the volumes across all of our advanced programs, the momentum is quite noticeable in the last four or five days, and we expect that to continue straight into the event and straight through the event."

The grounds will have a slightly different look this year, to allow for distancing.

"Stampede 2021 is tailored so that everyone can stampede, their way, choosing activities and experiences based on their own level of comfort, from the incredible lineup of musical performances, to the wild food in the midway," said Laurendeau.

"And of course the Stampede rodeo."

The Stampede kicks off unofficially on Thursday night with Sneak-a-Peek starting at 5 p.m.