Chase Rice facing backlash for packed East Tennessee concert

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Country music stars are taking to social media to call out fellow country singer Chase Rice after he performed before a packed crowd in East Tennessee last weekend.

Rice performed Saturday at the former Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary where the maximum capacity was lowered from 10,000 to 4,000 for its Live at Brushy series.

Videos shared on social media show a standing-room crowd with no signs of social distancing and or masks.

Kelsea Ballerini tweeted, “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. 🤷🏼‍♀️”

Rice posted a video on his Instagram story with the words “We back” along with a smiley face wearing sunglasses emoji.

Bobby Bones weighed in after speaking with two attorneys and said “there could be heavy liability here.”

The historic Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary opened as a visitors attraction in July of 2018 and features a museum, distillery and restaurant.

Brushy Mountain released a statement to ABC News, which reads in part:

“We are evaluating the series from top to bottom [and] implementing further safety measures.”

Sawyer Brown is scheduled to perform next at the former prison on Saturday, July 18.

Tennessee reported its highest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases on Friday.

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