Country music star Chase Rice has been facing a non-stop backlash after hosting a packed concert in Tennessee — and uploading a clip of the gig to social media. Now, Rice has responded to the controversy.
Chase Rice broached the subject in a minute-long Instagram video. “What’s up y’all, Chase here and I just wanted to address my show Saturday night,” the 34-year-old began.
“For those who don’t know,” he continued, “I had a show in East Tennessee, took a video of the concert, everybody had a blast, but then, once I posted the video, a lot of people seeing that online had a big problem with how the show looked, how the show went down.
“And I understand there’s a lot of varying opinions, there’s a lot of different opinions on COVID-19, how it works with live music, crowds, and what all that looks like. 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. You guys are everything to me, so your safety is a huge, huge priority.”
From there, the Ormond Beach, Florida, native (who grew up in Asheville, North Carolina) indicated that he will deliver his next show in a drive-in setting, as an array of other artists have started doing to get back on the road while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
“So moving forward, I have a show in Ashland, Kentucky, on Friday, and it’s a drive-in show. Take your trucks, take your cars, 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.”
Lastly, the “Eyes on You” singer called on his fans to stay safe and follow local health guidelines to hasten the return of traditional crowd-based concerts.
“And the biggest thing for all of us is the safer we are now, the quicker that we get to get to actual, normal live shows, which I know we all want. So, thank you guys for understanding. Please go by the rules, please go by the laws, on this Friday show coming up. And the show’s moving forward, so we get to regular shows soon enough.
“Love you guys, God bless you and God bless country music,” Rice finished.
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On social media, fans appeared divided on the concert and Rice’s video message.
“You did nothing wrong! … Keep doing you boo!” stated one supportive fan.
“Still love ya. Made a mistake and who doesn’t you still rock,” wrote a different Instagram user.
“Gross. Quite the legacy you’re building,” commented a disappointed individual.
Others were even less diplomatic. “You are a dumbass’s dumbass,” one irate critic wrote, perhaps typifying the response of those who hated the ‘super-spreader’ event.