‘If I was worried about it, I wouldn’t have went,’ Chase Rice fans say after singer gets backlash for hosting concert amid COVID-19

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PETROS, Tenn. (WATE) — Chase Rice fans who went to his concert Saturday night said they had a great time and don’t regret their decision to go during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Kristin Armstrong, 29, said the concert was the first concert she ever attended, and she said it wasn’t that crowded.

On top of fewer people, the venue, Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, was outdoors.

“I can tell you there was not 4,000 people there. Like I said, I know it looked like a lot from the video, but it’s just because everybody came up to the front. There was plenty of room. If people really wanted to social distance, they could social distance,” Armstrong said.

She said several people kept their distance.

Brittany Edwards, 30, and her family were some of the attendees who chose to spread out during most of the concert.

“We had the opportunity to self distance ourself from other people, rather being up on the stage being all over him, which we weren’t. We did go up there during the end, but during the concert I stayed back. I wasn’t about to be up there with everybody else,” Edwards said.

She said she only went up to the crowd when Chase Rice and his band started to sign autographs and take pictures.

Edwards and Armstrong said the venue implemented and executed many of the safety guidelines the state released for concert venues.

“They checked temperatures as people were walking through the gates, they were handing out hand sanitizer, people were wearing gloves and masks. We had the choice to wear gloves and masks as well,” Edwards said.

Edwards and Armstrong said that several people were wearing face masks, including one of Chase Rice’s band members.

They said the singer did let a few girls up on stage, which is technically against the guidelines.

Brushy Mountain Tours, in a statement, said all local requirements were abided by, and several other precautions were taken.

The venue capacity is normally 10,000, but Brushy Mountain Tours downsized capacity to 4,000 maximum for it’s live series.

954 tickets were sold, and only 809 tickets were scanned in.

The group also said guests were given temperature checks before allowed inside the venue, and free hand sanitizer was given to each person at the entrance.

Brushy Mountain Tours told all vendors to wear masks and gloves when interacting with the guests, and bandanas were available at the venue for purchase.

“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. 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.”

Brushy Mountain Tours

Morgan County officials were also made aware about the safety precautions Brushy Mountain Tours implemented.

Jody Zorsch, spokesperson for Morgan County and the county’s EMA director, also noted that the event was held outdoors in a three-acre field, with numerous signs informing guests about social distancing guidelines.

“We will work with Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary as they are reevaluating their events going forward to determine the viability of future events at Brushy,” Zorsch said in a statement.

Both Edwards and Armstrong said they wouldn’t have gone if they were worried about COVID-19.

“My husband, I mean he’s a truck driver and he’s in Nashville every day where these numbers just keep on going. So, I mean, either way it goes, it’s going to happen one way or another,” Edwards said.

“If I was worried, I wouldn’t have bought the tickets. I expected his fans to be there. I feel like this pandemic; it’s inevitable. Eventually, you’re either going to get it or you’re not. So, if I was worried about it, I wouldn’t have went,” Armstrong said.

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