The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on everyone, but country singer Chase Rice has apparently had enough. Although many musicians have canceled their tours for the foreseeable future in order to abide by social distancing protocol to keep fans safe, Rice recently came under fire for gathering fans (many without masks) into an outdoor venue for a concert in Tennessee. And he plans on doing it again, too.
Critics slammed Chase Rice on Twitter
According to CNN, Rice posted footage to his Instagram Stories from a concert held on June 27, 2020 at the Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, which is now a museum and performance venue. Many were aghast at how close people were and the apparent absence of masks.
The venue released a statement saying that safety precautions were taken. The venue reportedly reduced its capacity of 10,000 people to 4,000 people and sold less than 1,000 tickets. The venue said fans could spread out to their “own comfort level” and were given free hand sanitizer and temperature checks at the door.
Rice also took to Instagram to address the backlash. “I understand there’s a lot of varying opinions, a lot of different opinions on COVID-19, how it works with live music crowds. My biggest thing is y’all. You guys are everything to me, so your safety is a huge, huge priority,” he said.
But he’s still going forward with his tour, and some music industry peers feel that’s irresponsible and shady.
Country music star Kelsea Ballerini was among those who criticized Rice for bucking all of the rules. She tweeted video footage of his show and said: “Imagine being selfish enough to put thousands of people’s health at risk, not to mention the potential ripple effect, and play a NORMAL country concert right now.@ChaseRiceMusic, We all want (and need) to tour. We just care about our fans and their families enough to wait.”
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