Tennessee Concert Sees Thousands of Fans Pack Venue with No Masks or Social Distancing
As COVID cases in the United States spiked to an all time high (there were over 44,000 new cases on Saturday), one country musician in Tennessee thought it would be a-okay to hold a concert with no social distancing in place.
Stereogum reports that country musician Chase Rise held a show on Saturday at the Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, a former maximum security prison converted into a venue. While health experts predicted concerts would not be safe to attend until fall 2021, some promoters are plowing ahead anyway with shows. There is a metal festival that was initially called Herd Immunity Fest scheduled for next month, with Static-X and Dope, that has since changed it's name to something less insensitive. It looks like trying to be strict about social distancing seems virtually impossible.
Rice shared footage on his own social media pages that showed concert goers piled up on top of each other, with no masks in sight.
Chase Rice just played a concert to an enormous crowd of unmasked fans here in Tennessee. For once, I am at a loss for words. pic.twitter.com/wB47u1EaFd
— Lorie Liebig (@lorieliebig) June 28, 2020
TMZ reports that the ad for the event stated that social distancing would be enforced, but they clearly did not enforce it. The venue has commented after the story went viral saying "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."
In terms of safety precautions, the venue offered the following: "All guests were given temperature checks prior to entering the venue and free hand sanitizer was provided to everyone at entry. All vendors and staff were advised to wear masks and gloves when interacting with guests, and bandanas were available for purchase on-site." They go on to say they were unable to further enforce physical distancing their signage recommended, and are looking at alternatives for future shows … including adding stanchion dividers, implementing a drive-in style arrangement, or just postponing concerts outright.
There were 1,410 cases reported in Tennessee on Saturday, the highest ever in the state. If there was an outbreak at the concert, it would likely not start showing up in the stats until about two weeks from now.
It just seems shows like this will only set us back further into a proper reopening. Be safe out there.