Country's Chase Rice Insists Safety Is 'Huge Priority' After Concert Backlash

Written by on June 30, 2020

Chase Rice urged followers to “keep in your personal area” after being hit with a barrage of criticism for staging a live performance that appeared to haven’t any social distancing measures in place. 

Over the weekend, the nation singer-songwriter posted a photograph to his Instagram Story exhibiting a packed, mask-free crowd. The snapshot was taken from the stage at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in Petros, Tennessee, the place Rice carried out Saturday. 

Rice, 34, quietly deleted the photograph. Screenshots, nevertheless, circulated on social media and drew the ire of stars like Kelsea Ballerini, who deemed Rice “egocentric” for his choice to defy coronavirus restrictions by continuing with the present. 

On Monday, Rice responded to the controversy in a brief video on Instagram during which he emphasised to followers that his “largest” concern was for his or her security and well-being. 

“I perceive there are a number of various opinions, a number of opinions on COVID-19, the way it works with reside music crowds and what all that appears like,” he stated within the clip, viewable beneath. 

“My largest factor is y’all,” he added. “You guys are the whole lot to me, so your security is a large, large precedence.”

Rice didn’t apologize for the controversy that ensued after Saturday’s live performance. Nonetheless, he famous that his subsequent efficiency ― slated for Friday at Kentucky’s Paramount Arts Heart ― can be a “drive-in” present. 

“Please do sing the songs, however keep in your personal area, stick with the folks you got here with,” he stated. “The safer we are actually, the faster that we get to get to precise, regular reside exhibits, which I do know all of us need.”

Because the coronavirus turned a worldwide pandemic, stars like Taylor Swift and Harry Kinds had been pressured to cancel or reschedule their summer time excursions. Live performance promoters say they’re nonetheless at a loss as to the right way to implement social distancing amongst attendees at each massive and small venues whereas nonetheless turning a revenue. 

By adapting to a brand new format, Rice appeared to take cues from nation superstars Garth Brooks and Keith City, each of whom have carried out at drive-in theaters in current weeks.  

Despite the controversy, the Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary claimed that workers had, in actual fact, taken “quite a few precautions” associated to COVID-19 security at Rice’s present. 

Brian Could, vp of the Brushy Mountain Group, which owns Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, informed HuffPost in an electronic mail that Rice had performed to a “drastically diminished” crowd that crammed lower than 50% of the venue’s capability. In the meantime, followers had been inspired to make the most of an outside garden space to “unfold out to their very own consolation stage,” he stated.  

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