Chase Rice is facing major backlash for returning to the stage and not enforcing social distancing at his concert in Tennessee on June 27.
Kelsea Ballerini took to Twitter to call out Chase Rice for sharing a video from his packed concert in east Tennessee on June 27. The video, which Chase posted to his Instagram Story, showed thousands of fans cheering loudly, without any sign of masks or social distancing in effect amidst the coronavirus pandemic. “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,” Kelsea wrote. “[Chase], we all want (and need) to tour. We just care about our fans and their families enough to wait.”
Kelsea joined hundreds of others who began calling Chase out on social media once video from his show went viral. “Chase Rice and everyone who attended that concert are f***ing idiots,” one person tweeted, while someone else wrote, “EXTREMELY irresponsible to do something like this when we’re in the middle of a pandemic and people are dying.” HollywoodLife has reached out to Chase’s rep for comment.
The venue’s maximum capacity (10,000) was lowered more than 50 percent for the event, which 4,000 concertgoers attended. “All local requirements were abided by for the recent concert, and numerous precautions were taken,” Brian May, the Vice President of the Brushy Mountain Group, which put on the concert, told HollywoodLife in a statement. “We drastically reduced our maximum venue capacity of 10,000 to 4,000 maximum capacity (lower than the state’s advisement of 50%) with less than 1,000 in attendance Saturday night providing ample space in the outdoor lawn area for fans to spread out to their own comfort level.”
He added, “All guests were given temperature checks prior to entering the venue and free hand sanitizer was provided to everyone at entry. All vendors and staff were advised to wear masks and gloves when interacting with guests, and bandanas were available for purchase on-site. 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. 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.”
From the start of the coronavirus pandemic back in March, Chase has been vocal about his desire to get back onstage. “I’m not throwing blame to any promoters or decision makers on this, they gotta protect themselves and the well being of people, so I get all sides of this deal,” Chase tweeted on March 13. “I personally choose not to live scared, especially of something that I can’t really control.”
He also penned a song bout the coronavirus, which featured the lyrics, “Dear corona, you don’t know the heart of a country fan, you don’t know that we don’t give a damn, so you can reschedule Stagecoach, but you gotta understand, that you don’t know the heart of a country fan.” Chase’s June 27 show was the first of several upcoming concerts that he has scheduled for the remainder of summer.