Singers Take Heat After Concerts

Other artists criticize Chase Rice and Chris Janson for performances where few fans wore masks
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2020 5:39 PM CDT

(Newser) – Country singers Chase Rice and Chris Janson are getting an earful after performances Saturday before packed crowds—with few fans wearing masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Chase Rice, whose concert was in Tennessee, posted video showing fans pushed up against each other in front of the stage. "We back," he captioned the video, the Los Angeles Times reports. Tennessee is one of the states dealing with a record number of coronavirus cases. Janson also put up video of his concert in Idaho, which he later took down. Hundreds of fans close together could be seen, with few of them wearing masks. "Glad to be back at it," Janson wrote to a fan. Idaho is dealing with 5,319 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

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Kelsea Ballerini was among their colleagues who objected. "Imagine being selfish enough to put thousands of people’s health at risk," the star tweeted about Rice. She said that all artists want to resume performing, "We just care about our fans and their families enough to wait." Maren Morris also was critical. A spokesman for the site of Janson's concert said the crowd was kept down to a fraction of capacity, but added, "we were unable to further enforce the physical distancing recommended." Rice had made his feelings clear about coronavirus restrictions in March, per Variety. "I personally choose not [to] live scared, especially of something that I can’t really control," he said then. He also released a song saying that country music fans "don't give a damn" about the virus. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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