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Calgary Stampede officials shut down bribe rumours at Nashville North

Last Updated Jul 12, 2021 at 8:04 pm MDT

CALGARY — “We can tell you beyond any shadow of a doubt those are false accusations.”

The Calgary Stampede is denying rumours of people paying off staff to get around COVID requirements at Nashville North over the weekend.

“We have tested that with third-party auditors,” said Jim Laurendeau, the vice president of the Calgary Stampede. “We have sent our third-party auditors through making those types of attempts and we are 100 per cent confident in the integrity of the program.”

Concert-goers are supposed to show proof of vaccination or an on-site negative COVID test to enter.

But rumours swirled on social media about people bypassing that process with monetary bribes.


Others — concerned about fake vaccination cards.

“Once in a while we see someone do something with whiteout, it’s pretty easy to catch,” said Dr. Jia Hu, medical director, for the Calgary Stampede. “But the vast majority of people are honest about this, people actually appear to be. Yes, there’s sometimes a bit of a line, but they’re happy this is happening because it makes them feel more safe.”

Hu says 22,000 people have gone through the venue so far — about 70 per cent showed proof of vaccination and the others underwent testing.

He says fewer than five people returned a positive result.

“Without exception, everyone has been very good-natured when they hear the news of the results of their test and proceed alone out of the park, departing from the party they’ve been a part of, proceed home, and contact Alberta Health Services,” said Laurendeau.