Health Care Group Sponsoring Indoor Country Music Concert in South Dakota

by Jacklyn Krol

A health care group is sponsoring an indoor concert amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Attendees will not be required to wear masks. Additionally, organizers have not yet decided on social distancing practices.

The Event

Sanford Health of Sioux Falls is putting on the concert. The event will take place on October 24 and be headlined by Chris Young. The event will draw roughly 5,000 attendees. The concert venue was named after T. Denny Sanford, the billionaire who gave $1 billion to the health care company.

Ironically, The Daily Beast noted that Sanford Health’s website encourages citizens to wear face masks. “If you have to go to the grocery store, pharmacy, or anywhere else where social distancing is tough, the CDC now recommends wearing a mask,” it reads. “They’re now recommended for anyone in public settings where staying 6 feet away from others is more difficult, especially where significant community spread is occurring.” Their website also says that people should practice social distancing.

Governor Kristi Noem’s Involvement

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is helping organize the show. Noem previously endorsed the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that drew over 365,000 people. Furthermore, she has not implemented any face mask mandates for the state.

“We’re excited to welcome Chris Young back to South Dakota to headline the concert,” Noem says in a statement. In addition, she remarks, “I hope folks from across the state can join us for the event and help us celebrate the things that make South Dakota such a special place.”

Coronavirus and Live Music

Young canceled shows earlier this year due to health and safety concerns. Young’s Town Ain’t Big Enough Tour was scheduled to kick off in April and conclude in the fall. Scotty McCreery and Payton Smith were set to support him. The tour was postponed due to the pandemic, as were all of the major concert industry companies.

Finally, Young is concerned for both fan and crew’s safety amid the coronavirus pandemic. He noted that he is worried for crews in the touring industry who rely on their jobs for their livelihoods. “So not just my fans at shows, but the people that work with me, who are my road family,” he told Country Now. “I don’t wanna put them in any situation where their safety’s at risk.”

“It’s not just paying for a ticket, which can be refunded,” he said of fans’ concert experience. “[People] travel. They block those days off their schedule. And right now, there’s a lot of people that don’t have a lot of disposable income. Or any at all. So [canceling the shows] was the decision we made, and we figured it would be easiest on everybody.”