Country singer Chase Rice responds to criticism of packed Tennessee concert

Footage had shown fans in a crowded venue, many without face masks

Country singer Chase Rice has posted a video responding to criticism that his recent Nashville show appeared to ignore US social distancing guidelines.

Despite a new spike in the USA’s coronavirus cases, Rice played a show for thousands of fans at the Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in Tennessee on Saturday, June 27. It was the first show in Rice’s tour of venues chosen for their social distancing capabilities.

In videos posted to Rice’s Instagram story, attendees were seen without face masks in the crowded venue.

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Nearly 48 hours after the controversial event, the singer has responded to complaints in an Instagram video shared today (June 29). Rice said, “I understand that there’s 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.”

He then addressed his fans: “My biggest thing is y’all. Y’all are why I get to write songs, why I get to tour the country, why I get to do live shows and sing you songs and you guys sing them back. You guys are everything to me, so your safety is a huge, huge priority.”

Rice went on to confirm his drive-in show in Kentucky this Friday (July 3) would be going ahead.

“You have your own space, you can get out of your cars, you can get out of your trucks and party with me,” he said. “And the biggest thing for all of us is the safer we are now, the quicker we get to actual normal live shows, which I know we all want.”

“Thank you guys for understanding, please go by the rules, please go by the laws on this Friday show coming up and shows moving forward.”

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The state of Tennessee is one of several to have seen a rise in coronavirus cases in recent weeks. The state reported its highest number of new cases in one day (1,410) last Friday (June 26), and also recorded 10 deaths on that day.

The state has recorded almost 600 deaths from the virus since the outbreak began.

Rice’s Kentucky concert is part of a tour that will take him through Georgia, Virginia, Philadelphia and California.

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