The “Love Me Like You Mean It” singer, 26, was among several people slamming Rice, 34, for sharing video on Instagram from his outdoor concert on Saturday, June 27, that showed people standing shoulder-to-shoulder without face masks or adhering to social distancing rules.
The “Eyes on You” singer posted a clip from his concert at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in Petros, Tennessee, along with the caption, “We back,” but he deleted it after critics began chiming in.
“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 on Sunday as she shared a video from his show. “@ChaseRiceMusic, We all want (and need) to tour. We just care about our fans and their families enough to wait.”
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
The concert came less than two weeks after COVID-19 hospitalizations hit an all-time high in the state.
A spokesperson for the venue told Variety that “numerous precautions were taken” for the gig.
“We drastically reduced our maximum venue capacity of 10,000 to 4,000 maximum capacity (lower than the state’s advisement of 50 percent) 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,” Brian May, VP of the Brushy Mountain Group, told the outlet. “All guests were given temperature checks prior to entering the venue and free hand sanitizer was provided to everyone at entry.”
He added that they 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.”
Further safety measures could include adding stanchions or converting the space to drive-in style concerts.
In contrast to Rice, Garth Brooks held a “Drive-In Concert Experience” on Saturday featuring a prerecorded performance screened at more than 300 outdoor theaters across the U.S. and Canada. Fans were charged $100 per car for the event billed as the country megastar’s return to “live” shows.