Chase Rice Faces Backlash for Performing For a Packed, Standing Room-Only Crowd

Chase Rice

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic is far from over. In the United States, there have been over 2.5 million cases and more than one fifth of all deaths from the virus in the entire world. We should proceed with caution.

While it’s obviously no fun to have many of our typical summer plans canceled, we need to be thinking about our health and safety as well as the health and safety of our fellow Americans. Different states have different restrictions, and they are all designed to keep everyone safe.

Many musicians have decided to cancel their summer concert tours, and some have modified their performance locations to venues that can allow for drive-in style concert-going. One great example is a Live Nation concert in July with headliners Brad Paisley, Daris Rucker, Jon Pardi and Nelly. The audience will park their cars inside the venue, and two parking spaces will be left between each car to allow room for tailgating while social distancing.

Country star Chase Rice decided to have a concert that was a little too “normal” for many people’s comfort. The concert was held in Petros, Tennessee at the Historic Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, a venue that would usually hold 10,000 fans. 

Brian May, the Vice President of the Brushy Mountain Group, explained to USA TODAY that “all local requirements” were followed. Everyone had their temperature checked at the door. Employees were required to wear masks when interacting with concertgoers. The venue capacity was drastically reduced, limiting the attendees to only 4,000, which, according to May, would provide “ample space in the outdoor lawn area for fans to spread out to their own comfort level.”

Less than 1,000 fans actually showed up for the concert, and it seems that these fans were comfortable ignoring social distancing. A video from the event shows fans packed together up close to the stage. It looks like a normal concert…in the middle of a pandemic. Nobody is even bothering to wear a mask.

Many musicians are slamming Chase Rice for holding a concert given the current health crisis. Kelsea Ballerini tweeted, “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.”

Ballerini isn’t the only one complaining about the concert.

The Mountain Goats added, “the people in this audience, along with the presenters of this show, are assuring that conscientious musicians won’t be able to work their jobs for a while, and that conscientious audiences won’t be able to see shows for the foreseeable, and to be blunt, that (expletive) sucks.”

Regarding the venue, May says that they are “looking into future alternative scenarios that further protect the attendees, artists and their crews and our employees.”

Do you think it was irresponsible to have a concert considering the COVID-19 situation in the United States? What do you think the venue could do to protect fans if there are any future concerts?