Chase Rice is breaking his silence after being on the receiving end of social media backlash over a mask-free, packed concert in rural Tennessee. The country music star took to Instagram to address the issue.
The “Eyes on You” singer started by speaking directly to his fans. “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 said. “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.”
Rice came under fire after posting a video of Friday’s concert at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in Petros, Tennessee. The clip, which he captioned “we back,” shows concertgoers ignoring suggestions to stand six feet apart and wear face masks.
He then spoke of an upcoming drive-in show in Kentucky. Rice encouraged prospective attendees to abide by suggested health guidelines. “Take your trucks, take your cars,” he said. “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.”
Rice concluded by saying: “The safer we are now, the quicker we get to actual normal live shows, which I know we all want.”
Country Music Stars React to Chase Rice’s Packed Concert
After Rice posted the concert video, a number of country music stars reacted on social media. Among those that spoke out were Kelsea Ballerini, Cassadee Pope, and Mickey Guyton.
Brian May, vice president of the concert venue, Brushy Mountain, released a statement about the incident. “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,” May said.