Country singer Chase Rice sparked outrage after posting a video online of what appeared to be a packed concert hall in Tennesse where the current number of coronavirus cases is more than 40,000, according to the LA Times.
Rice posted the video to his Instagram story on Saturday with the caption “we’re back.”
In the video, Rice can be heard saying, “Corona ain’t slowing us down,” as hundreds of unmasked fans standing shoulder-to-shoulder applauded at the end of a song.
A screen recording of the video reposted on Twitter attracted the attention of thousands of users, including fellow artists.
“Imagine being selfish enough to put thousands of people’s health at risk, not to mention the potential ripple effect,” country star Kelsea Ballerini tweeted to Rice.
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. @ChaseRiceMusic, We all want (and need) to tour. We just care about our fans and their families enough to wait. 🤷🏼♀️ https://t.co/eJaLnGu28k— Kelsea Ballerini (@KelseaBallerini) June 28, 2020
Others online shared their disappointment in the situation by posting memes.
Me looking at Chase Rice right now. pic.twitter.com/4CL6PaqYqa— Adam Parker (@A_Parker20) June 29, 2020
When 4,000 people risk their lives to see Chase Rice in concert pic.twitter.com/gQUqkP9xcO— Allison the Disney diva (@Daviesallison1A) June 29, 2020
According to the LA Times, there were less than a thousand fans in attendance for the Saturday night concert at the Historic Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary where the maximum capacity of 10,000 was decreased to 4,000 maximum capacity.
A spokesperson for the venue said, in an email to the LA Times, “All local requirements were abided by for the recent concert, and numerous precautions were taken. We drastically reduced our maximum venue capacity of 10,000 to 4,000 maximum capacity (lower than the state’s advisement of 50%) with less than 1,000 in attendance Saturday night providing ample space in the outdoor lawn area for fans to spread out to their own comfort level. All guests were given temperature checks prior to entering the venue and free hand sanitizer was provided to everyone at entry.”
Rice has yet to respond to the backlash online.
His next tour date is a drive-in performance scheduled to take place Friday, July 3 in Kentucky.