Country stars Chase Rice & Chris Janson held big concerts to unmasked crowds

Chase Rice via Instagram

On Friday we talked about Vanilla Ice’s planned concert this Friday at a bar in Austin, Texas that has made headlines for packed crowds. Texas governor Greg Abbott has since closed bars and limited restaurant capacity due to infection spikes in Texas, but it’s unclear how that will affect Ice’s show. (Previous photos of people standing close to each other watching a show were during limited capacity events.) I’m worried that Fourth of July weekend is going to be a mess of super spreader events. Here’s more evidence of that. Both Chase Rice (“Eyes on You”) and Chris Janson (“Buy Me a Boat”) had huge concerts over the weekend. Thankfully they were outside, but photos of the crowd show that almost no one is wearing a mask! I did see a couple of people wearing bandannas in a sea of faces. Chase’s concert was in east Tennessee and Chris’s was in Filer, Idaho. Both artists posted videos and photos of their shows and Chris deleted his after criticism. Variety reports that the crowd in Idaho at Chris’s show was 2,800 and the crowd in Tennessee was around 1,000.

Country singer Chase Rice is taking heat after sharing video footage of a concerts he played in east Tennessee Saturday night, with footage showing large, packed outdoor crowds rocking out shoulder-to-shoulder with no sign of social distancing or masks.

Rice posted video of his riled-up audience in east Tennessee, taken from the stage, as part of an Instagram post with the caption: “We back.” The video clips remained up Sunday on his Instagram story, even as it became the subject of angry voices on social media.

Another country star, Chris Janson, also used social media to share footage of a concert he played to a sea of fans Saturday night , although it was difficult to tell from the footage whether any of the members of the similarly jam-packed audience at the Hwy 30 Fest in Filer, Idaho were wearing masks. Late in the day Sunday, he deleted his video footage from Instagram, along with a tweet that showed the festival crowd.

[From Variety]

This is getting more headlines because Kelsea Ballerini rightfully called Chase out:

The festival organizers in Tennessee said they checked temperatures, limited capacity and provided hand sanitizer, but could not get the crowd to social distance, which was voluntary.

Although the audience appears vast in the video Rice posted, and some news reports had attendance at 4,000, Brushy Mountain said the figure was actually well below that. “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,” said May. “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.”

May indicated the crowd was not eager to voluntarily follow social distancing guidelines, which will prompt reevaluation. “We were unable to further enforce the physical distancing recommended in the signage posted across the property and are looking into future alternative scenarios that further protect the attendees, artists and their crews and our employees. We are reevaluating the series from the top to bottom — from implementing further safety measures, to adding stanchions, to converting the space to drive-in style concerts, to postponing shows.”

[From Variety]

Variety goes on to report how both artists have written ignorant (my words) songs about coronavirus. Chase’s includes such choice lines as “Dear corona, you don’t know the heart of a country fan / You don’t know that we don’t give a damn.” Chris sings “Open up the doors and fill the seats / ‘Cause people still gotta eat.

I hope they are both shamed mercilessly, which is already happening. It’s so disheartening that not only has US “leadership” not outlawed large events like this, they’re actively encouraging people to not wear masks, which we know work. Stay home, wear a mask and socially distance. It’s a-holes like these people who are putting so many others at risk and who are going to keep us in lockdown so much longer than we need to be.

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14 Responses to “Country stars Chase Rice & Chris Janson held big concerts to unmasked crowds”

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  1. MaryContrary says:

    The ignorance, selfishness and stupidity are almost too much to bear. I shouldn’t be surprised with the millions of people who voted for Trump that they continue to live their lives like a-holes, but sometimes I’m still taken aback.

  2. Rapunzel says:

    Reason #100000001 to hate contemporary country music.

  3. adastraperaspera says:

    Well, at least our city council here in Nashville just passed a mandatory mask mandate that starts today. It’s the only defense we’ll have against this insanity. The huge music corporations have always allowed country stars to do whatever they want here in Tennessee. It’s so ironic how these supposedly hip NY and LA moguls happily monetize country music’s sexism, racism, xenophobia, and now Trumper anti-science.

  4. lucy2 says:

    The US is never, ever going to get this under control. It makes me want to scream.
    Checking temps does nothing, as a lot of the people spreading it around are asymptomatic.
    Both of these musicians, and the venues which agreed, are disgusting and dangerous.

    • S2 says:

      This. It all feels so hopeless. I’m not going to stop wearing a mask, staying home and avoiding gatherings, but goddamn this has enormous ripple effects and the sheer breadth of the stupidity and selfishness is mind-blowing.

      If you want the economy to return to any semblance of normal…Wear a mask.

      If you want to see sports return to entertain us any time in foreseeable future…Wear a mask.

      If you want your kids to be able to go back to school or university…Wear a mask.

      If you want kids with cancer, your grandma with heart disease and your aunt who happens to be overweight to live to see another Christmas…Wear a mask.

      If you want America to continue as a prosperous nation…Wear a f’ing mask!

      • lucy2 says:

        The same people screaming to “open up” are the ones refusing to do the one thing that actually helps.

      • Hoot says:

        Yes, Please!

        And can we get those cute “We’re in This Together” tv commercials modified or removed and replaced with some damn hard line messages already? Because as the many ignoramuses who’ve crawled out of the woodwork in our states have proven, we are NOT in this together. Maybe some PSA’s done by these idiots’ favorite rock/country/movie stars would get the message across better. And I mean something that shames these Covidiots into seeing the light?

  5. Annaloo. says:

    At some point, Republicans are going to have to ask themselves if they really are the pro-economy pro-business party. Not wearing masks keeps us from progressing towards opening, from moving back to normal. At some point, these knuckleheads have to ask is it more important for you not to wear a mask or is it more important for the economy to have a chance to recover.

    We’ve already established that they don’t care about grandma, wearing a mask may be too much to ask of them. It’s completely unfair that the whole country is put behind bc of the dumbest people in class

  6. BlueSky says:

    A lot of artists are losing money because a majority of their income comes from touring and doing shows. Janelle Monae discussed the hit she is taking because of this. Some people are so desperate for cash that they just don’t give a sh@t.

    • Hoot says:

      I have a relative who is in a popular country band. They were about to tour in England and New Zealand when the pandemic began and they turned right around and went back to the US. They (and most) in the entertainment field are hurting, but 99% are staying home. I sure hope they shame these two numbskulls into waking the *f* up.

  7. CL says:

    Such idiots!

    I live in a musician-heavy town, and many of the music venues have taken to live streaming performances on a pay per view basis. The bands play to an empty house, with only enough workers to make the livestream possible, and while it’s not the same as being there, you still get to enjoy the show while not spreading the virus.

    • ClaireB says:

      Yes, why can’t these guys do the same thing? Or are they like Trump and require the adulation of live crowds to keep them alive?

      • goofpuff says:

        It’s always about money. tours bring in more money via concession and merchandise sales. They want to make lots of money.

  8. LaraW” says:

    Hope their beer coolers have enough ice for the dead bodies.