Kelsea Ballerini calls out Chase Rice for performing packed concert as coronavirus cases rise


Kelsea Ballerini is calling out Chase Rice after her fellow country singer performed a concert over the weekend to a jam-packed crowd while coronavirus cases in the U.S. continue to rise.

Rice, 34, performed Saturday in Tennessee to a packed, standing room-only crowd with no visible masks, since-expired videos from Rice’s Instagram story show. The singer captioned the videos “We back” with an emoji wearing sunglasses.

Videos and photos of the show have since sparked backlash within the industry as fellow singers slammed Rice for choosing to perform while others refrained from doing so to keep fans safe.

“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,” Ballerini tweeted Sunday. “@ChaseRiceMusic, We all want (and need) to tour. We just care about our fans and their families enough to wait.” The concert took place Saturday night at the Historic Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in Petros, Tennessee. Safety protocols for the venue include a reduced maximum capacity from 10,000 to 4,000, according to an announcement on its Instagram page. Rice’s concert saw a smaller turnout than that, a rep for the venue said.

Brian May, Vice President of the Brushy Mountain Group that “all local requirements” were followed and less than 1,000 guests were in attendance Saturday night, “providing ample space in the outdoor lawn area for fans to spread out to their own comfort level.” Staff and vendors were required to wear masks “when interacting with guests.” Concert guests went through temperature checks before entering but were not required to wear masks.

“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 added. “We are reevaluating the series from the top to bottom – from implementing further safety measures, to adding stanchions, to converting the space to drive-in style concerts, to postponing shows.”

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