CHASE Rice has defended his packed live gig in East Tennessee on Saturday which saw fans stood shoulder to shoulder without wearing masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The country music singer took to his Instagram page to hit out against the backlash – which centred on zero social distancing procedures at the event – before revealing his next show is this coming Friday.
Chase, 34, insisted his top priority at the weekend was that of his 4,000 fans and took to the photo-sharing site to explain all in a video.
Wearing a blue hoodie and black baseball cap, he started by saying: “What’s up y’all? Chase here and I just wanted to address my show Saturday night.
“For those who don’t know, I had a show in East Tennessee, I 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.”
The Eyes On You hitmaker swerved a full apology and added how there were: “A lot of varying opinions on COVID-19” and how “it works with live music and crowds.”
He continued: “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, so moving forward, I have a show in Ashland, Kentucky on Friday, and it’s a drive-in show.
“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.”
In a further partial warning to fans, he added: “The safer we are now, the quicker that we get to actual, normal, live shows, which is what I know we all want.”
Fans were somewhat divided in their reaction to the video clip, which he captioned: “To the fans, love y’all.”
One defended him as they wrote: “We are adults and we can make our own decisions if we want to attend a concert or not.
“Some people are getting all p***ed off over this but it’s the people’s choice!
“We are AMERICANS we live in a country of freedom and if we feel safe and we want to attend a show it’s OUR choice!
Chase, 34, told how people see COVID-19 differently[/caption]
“If you are worried about getting the virus don’t go I see both sides of it.
“I don’t think you should feel bad for having your show man.”
Yet another, taking the opposing viewpoint, put: “It’s like you almost thought about apologizing to the fans you put in danger.”
The Lonely If You Are singer’s performance took place at Petros, Tennessee, at the Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, a former prison-turned-event center.
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It marked the first time Rice has performed in four months, after he released his new album, The Album Part 1, in January.
According to TMZ, the venue has a capacity of 10,000, but on Saturday about 4,000 people were allowed into the building.
Despite lowering the number of fans allowed in the area, many felt it was irresponsible to allow such an event to happen.
Taking to Twitter, people blasted the country singer, with one previously writing: “#ChaseRice Hosts Packed Concert in Tennessee, No Masks or Distancing via @TMZ — Way to be a hero…greedy assholes. When innocent people die, blame yourselves for spreading CoVid.”