Chase Rice promises Covid-19 precautions at upcoming drive-in concert after backlash, but offers no apology
Chase Rice has responded to the backlash he received for performing at a packed live concert without any masks or following any social distancing norms. Organizers said approximately a thousand people attended the concert at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in east Tennessee, an outdoor concert venue at a former prison.
The country singer posted a video on his Instagram on June 30 in which he addressed the criticism he received over a video he posted of his gig on June 27, saying that his next scheduled show will be a drive-in concert with more precautions. "You guys are everything to me so your safety is a huge huge priority,'' Rice said. "So moving forward I have a show in Ashland, Kentucky, on Friday, and it's a drive-in show. Take your trucks, take your cars, you have your own space. Sing the songs, but stay in your own space, stay with the people you came with."
While Rice said his next live performance will be mindful of safety, some fans are not accepting it as an apology. Among many mixed fan reactions to the video, one Instagram user said, "Literally nothing of substance in that video. You didn't even pretend to apologize..." while another wrote, "Y’all’s $$$$ is the most important thing. F**k safety." One user said, "Too late dude." Another said, "If you call it a protest it will be fine, covid is exempt at protests." One fan said, "Chase Rice you did nothing wrong i'm pretty sure no one was forced to go it was nice to see a normal picture of people having fun instead of groups burning down things."
Rice's initial video of his concert in east Tennessee also drew criticism from fellow country singer Kelsea Ballerini who 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."
Courtney Harris, a fan who said she was next to the stage at one point of the concert, told Kristen Dahlgren on TODAY Tuesday that she was not wearing a mask and that "everybody was close". Harris added that it was at "your own discretion" for your intended proximity to other fans. "It's just we're all eventually going to get it at some point, whether you wear a mask, or you know," she said. She also recalled that a guitarist for Rice was the only one wearing a mask.