Country singer Chase Rice is at the centre of a social media storm, after posting footage of his 27 June concert in Tennessee which, like many US states, is facing a new coronavirus spike.
The footage, since deleted by Rice, showed a packed crowd of 1000 concert-goers, the vast majority of whom weren't wearing masks or face coverings.
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/wB47u1EaFdJune 28, 2020
Fellow country star Kelsea Ballerini was amongst online critics, branding him "selfish". Rice has since responded in an instagram statement, saying he'd had a "blast" and addressing people who have a "problem" with it.
“I understand that there’s a lot of varying opinions, a lot of different opinions on Covid-19, how it works with live music crowds and what all that looks like,” he said.
“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 you songs and you guys sing them back. You guys are everything to me, so your safety is a huge, huge priority.”
Rice says his next concert, a drive-in planned for this weekend, will go ahead.
“You have your own space, you can get out of your cars, you can get out of your trucks and party with me,” he said. “And the biggest thing for all of us is the safer we are now, the quicker we get to actual normal live shows, which I know we all want.”
“Thank you guys for understanding, please go by the rules, please go by the laws on this Friday show coming up and shows moving forward so we can get to regular shows soon enough.”