Chase Rice Responds To Criticism Of His Concert During COVID-19
Chase Rice has responded to criticism of a concert he performed last Saturday night in front of fans who didn’t practice social distancing or wear masks.
“Everybody had a blast but then, once I posted the video, a lot of people seeing that online had a big problem with how the show looked, how the show went down,” the country singer said in a video message.
“I understand there’s a lot of varying opinions, a lot of different opinions on COVID-19, how it works with live music crowds and what all that looks like.”
Rice, 34, had captioned an Instagram Story clip from his show in Petros, Tennessee with: “We back.” Among those sharing their shock and outrage on social media was country star Kelsea Ballerini.
“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,” she tweeted. “We all want (and need) to tour. We just care about our fans and their families enough to wait.”
Falling short of apologizing for putting so many people at risk, Rice insisted on Monday that the safety of his fans is a “huge” priority.
He urged fans coming to his forthcoming drive-in concerts to stay in their space and protect themselves and others.
“The safer we are now the quicker that we get to get to actual normal live shows,” he said, “which I know we all want.
“Please go by the rules, please go by the laws… so we get to regular shows soon enough.”
Also on Monday, Rice retweeted fellow country singer Jake Owen, who took aim at people who criticized Rice. “In a world full of hate, be a light,” Owen tweeted. “It’s amazing how many country artists, songwriters and media outlets are quick to throw shade at our own people. Sad really.”
In a statement, a rep for the venue where Rice performed said there were only 809 fans in attendance – all of whom were given temperature checks as they entered. Hand sanitizer was provided and bandanas were available for sale.
“We were unable to further enforce the physical distancing recommended in the signage posted across the property and are looking into future alternative scenarios that further protect the attendees, artists and their crews and our employees,” said Brian May.
“We are reevaluating the series from the top to bottom — from implementing further safety measures, to adding stanchions, to converting the space to drive-in style concerts, to postponing shows.”
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