MORGAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVF) — Country singer Chase Rice is catching criticism for playing a concert in Tennessee as COVID-19 cases continue to surge.
Rice posted video on Instagram of his packed show at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, which is a music venue about three hours east of Nashville in Petros.
People on social media pointed out the lack of masks and social distancing.
Kelsea Ballerini was among those calling Rice out, tweeting in part: "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."
Rice uploaded a video, responding to what happened. In it he said:
"Once I posted the video, a lot of people seeing that online had a big problem with how the show looked, how the show went down. I understand there are 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. 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. 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, 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 safety, the quicker we get to get to actual normal live shows which I know we all want.”
Morgan County EMA also responded saying the following:
"Brushy Mtn. State Pen complied with all local requirements for the recent concert, and numerous precautions were taken. This included temperature checks of people attending the concert and providing hand sanitizer to attendees. Brushy Mtn Capacity is 10,000, Brushy limited ticket sales to 4,000 and actual attendance was less than 1,000. Attendance size was well within the CDC and state guidelines. In addition this was an outdoor event , held in a 3 acre field. Numerous signs informed guest of social distancing guidelines. We will work with Brushy Mtn State Pen as they are reevaluating their events going forward to determine the viability of future events at Brushy."