After receiving backlash on line for holding a concert in East Tennessee on Saturday night (June 27) that had many fans ignoring pandemic rules by not social distancing and not wearing masks, Chase Rice is responding with his own statement about the evening.
He posted a video message on Instagram, with the caption, “To the fans, love y’all.” In the video, Chase sat facing the camera and began his statement.
“I just want to address my show Saturday night,” Chase said. “For those of you that don’t know I had a show in East Tennessee, took a video of the concert, everybody had a blast but then once I posted the video, a lot of people seeing that online had a problem with how the show looked, how the show went down.
“I understand that 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,” he added. “My biggest thing is y’all. Y’all are why I get to write songs, y’all are why I get to tour the country, why I get to do live shows and sing these songs to you guys and you guys sing them back. You guys are everything to me, so your safety is a huge huge priority.”
[RELATED: Kelsea Ballerini Calls Out Chase Rice Following In-Person Concert With No Social Distancing]
He continued, “So, moving forward, I have a show in Ashland, Kentucky on Friday (July 3) , and it’s a drive-in show. You take your trucks, take your cars. You have your own space, you can get out of your cars, you can get out of your trucks and party with me. Please do, sing the songs but stay in your own space, stay with the people you came with. And the biggest thing for all of us is the safer we are now, the quicker that we get to actual normal live shows, which I know we all want. Thank you guys for understanding, please go by the rules, please go by the laws on this Friday show coming up and shows moving forward.”
Chase received backlash from fans and fellow country artists including, Kelsea Ballerini, Mickey Guyton and Cassadee Pope, after the video of the concert, packed with hundreds of people not social distancing or wearing masks, was posted online.
“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 on Twitter.
Adding, “@ChasericeMusic, We all want (and need) to tour. We just care about our fans and their families enough to wait.”
The venue, Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, at which the concert was held released a statement shortly after the backlash.
“All local requirements were abided by for the recent concert, and numerous precautions were taken. 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.
“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.” They go on to say they were unable to further enforce physical distancing their signage recommended, and are looking at alternatives for future shows.”
According to his website, Chase’s next show will be on Friday night, July 3, at the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland, Kentucky. However this time, the concert will be a drive-in concert, where the audience will need to remain near or in their cars.
As Chase said, “please go by the rules, please go by the laws on this Friday show coming up and shows moving forward.”