Country star Kelsea Ballerini explains how her process of self-discovery over the last few years has informed her third album “kelsea.” (March 18)
Kelsea Ballerini is calling out Chase Rice after her fellow country singer performed a concert over the weekend to a jam-packed crowd while coronavirus cases in the U.S. continue to rise.
Rice, 34, performed Saturday in Tennessee to a packed, standing room-only crowd with no visible masks, since-expired videos from Rice’s Instagram story show. The singer captioned the videos “We back” with an emoji wearing sunglasses.
Videos and photos of the show have since sparked backlash within the industry as fellow singers slammed Rice for choosing to perform while others refrained from doing so to keep fans safe.
“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,” Ballerini tweeted Sunday. “@ChaseRiceMusic, We all want (and need) to tour. We just care about our fans and their families enough to wait.”
The concert took place Saturday night at the Historic Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in Petros, Tennessee. Safety protocols included a reduced maximum capacity from 10,000 to 4,000 and a “wide open yard with plenty of space to keep a safe distance,” according to an announcement on the venue’s Instagram page. Staff and vendors were required to wear masks “when interacting with guests.” Concert guests did not face the same requirements.
USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for Rice and the Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary for comment.
“this is really not good,” tweeted Dresden Dolls singer Amanda Palmer. “musicians, & their managers, & venues (& promotors….all the way down the line) have a huge responsibility to the common good RIGHT NOW to not make a bad situation worse. the arts should be leading culture, not endangering it.”
The Mountain Goats lamented “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.”
Rice has 10 upcoming concerts listed on his website, half of which are set to take place at drive-in venues.
As of Monday morning, U.S. coronavirus cases have hit over 2.5 million and account for more than a fifth of virus deaths worldwide.
Amid pandemic concerns, some artists have announced drive-in concerts to promote social distancing while still getting to experience live music. Brad Paisley, Daris Rucker, Jon Pardi and Nelly will headline a drive-in summer concert series organized by Live Nation next month.
Concertgoers will be able to drive into the parking lots of the amphitheaters — a maximum of four people per car — and will have two empty parking lot spaces in between each vehicle so fans can watch and party from their designated individual tailgating zones. Attendees are encouraged to bring food, drinks and chairs, setting up around their cars to view the performers from the stage and also from the large LED screens.
Contributing: Associated Press
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