Congressman Matt Gaetz pens letter to Gov. DeSantis regarding ‘vaccine passports’ at 30A Songwriters Festival

Congressman Matt Gaetz sent the following letter on Monday afternoon to Governor Ron DeSantis regarding what he described as “the illegal implementation of vaccine passports” at the 30A Songwriters Festival.

  • The festival will take place in the First Congressional District of Florida. 


Dear Governor DeSantis:

I hope this letter finds you well. On behalf of my constituents, thank you for your bold leadership and sound stewardship of our beloved Florida.

Regrettably, I write to inform you that within my congressional district there appears to be a blatant violation of Executive Order 21-81, “Prohibiting COVID-19 Vaccine Passports.” Your executive order allows entities to engage in COVID-19 screening, generally, but does not permit different treatment for the vaccinated and unvaccinated.  

The 30A Songwriters Festival is requiring all participants and patrons to:

  • “show proof of full vaccination (two shots of Moderna or Pfizer or one shot of Johnson & Johnson) or proof of a professionally administered negative COVID test within 72 hours immediately prior to the start of the Festival.”

This Festival is funded in part by the Tourist Development Council of Walton County, utilizing taxpayer funds. Vaccine passports should not be funded by Florida taxpayers.

I ask that you give this matter your immediate attention and inform the Walton County Tourist Development Council of the ramifications if they proceed in funding the 30A Songwriters Festival under these unlawful conditions.


Matt Gaetz
Member of Congress

On Sunday, January 9th, the 30a Songwriters Festival posted their new entrance requirements, safety protocols, and new check-in procedures on their website.

Within the protocols section, the festival wrote:

All Festival Patrons MUST present a negative COVID test (within the previous 72 hours), along with a valid government-issued photo ID, to receive a 30A SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL wristband. (Note: Festival Patrons may choose to present proof of full vaccination in lieu of a negative test).

The website added that they “will accept a printed or digital copy of a negative COVID-19 test result administered by or under the supervision of a healthcare professional within 72 hours of the date of check-in.”

  • At-home tests will not be accepted.

For entrance to the festival as “fully vaccinated,” guests must have received their second shot of either Moderna or Pfizer on or before December 31, 2021  or their first shot of Johnson & Johnson on or before December 31. 2021.

The festival is scheduled to take place January 14-17, 2022.

No word yet from Gov. DeSantis on this matter.

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