Garth Brooks Says He’s ‘Heartbroken’ About Rained-Out Nashville Stadium Show, Is Working to Reschedule
Garth Brooks says he's "heartbroken" over his rained-out Nashville Stadium Tour stop, and is working to reschedule the show as soon as possible. The country superstar addressed the matter during his Monday night (Aug. 2) Inside Studio G livestream on Facebook, about 48 hours after the postponed concert.
"That's a good word for it: heartbroken," Brooks shared at the start of his livestream of the Saturday night (July 31) show at Music City's Nissan Stadium. A segment of the Grand Ole Opry — the night's opening-act performance — had just begun when lightning in the area forced fans to seek shelter in the concourses of the open-air venue.
"When [Opry announcer] Bill Cody stepped up to that mic and said, 'Welcome to the Grand Ole Opry,' and it echoed out across that stadium, that place went up with such reverence," Brooks notes. "It was just crawlin' all over me."
Brooks says he was underneath the in-the-round-style stage at that point — as an Opry member himself, he was going to perform during the segment, too. However, the storm delay went into effect after Chris Young kicked things off with two songs and Emmylou Harris played one (with Trisha Yearwood backing her up, briefly).
During the delay, fans who were at Nissan Stadium but weren't already inside the venue were asked to seek shelter in their cars, or to enter the venue and shelter in the covered concourses with the rest of the crowd if they did not have a car with them. Kate Guerra, publicist for the Tennessee Titans, the NFL team that plays in Nissan Stadium, explains to Nashville's WRKN that NFL best practices tell staff to evacuate fans from the stands, but not the stadium — so as not to send them out into the storm — when there is lightning within eight miles of the venue. Further guidance mandates a 30-minute wait from the last lightning strike before allowing fans back into their seats.
"It’s very standard across most outdoor venues," Guerra adds.
Brooks said during his livestream that he was "amazed [at] how quickly" those in the stadium moved to shelter, but, as this reviewer experienced, a lack of guidance from stadium staff caused bottlenecks in some areas of the venue. The country star added that "they put everybody in covered spaces," and while most fans stayed dry and out of the elements, Nissan Stadium's concourses are not all fully enclosed, so with an estimated 70,000 tickets sold for the concert, some fans got drenched by the wind-blown rain, and most had little personal space (both experiences of those in my party).
The crowding in the concourses caused further issues for some fans, who became overheated or overwhelmed by the situation. The majority of the crowd did not wear masks, despite the tight quarters and the fact that only 39 percent of Tennesseans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to statistics from the CDC. Spontaneous sing-alongs helped keep the mood light in some areas, but nearby, EMTs and security staff needed to help those struggling.
"The stadium people were so sweet," Brooks told livestream viewers, specifically shouting out a woman named Jasmine, who, he'd been told, went above and beyond to help fans.
After the first storm cleared, organizers opted to cancel Brooks' concert due to a second storm following behind it. Brooks says his team was working with the owners of Nissan Stadium until about 2AM on Sunday (Aug. 1) to try to reschedule the show for that night.
"The problem that they kept having was the experience that people would have Sunday wouldn't be the level of experience that the Titans stadium is used to giving the people that come there," he explained, citing both staffing and food deficits as factors that made that plan "impossible."
Brooks' Nissan Stadium concert is being rescheduled, though he has to work around Titans games and other events at the venue. "There is a rescheduled date that we're working with, but we can't confirm it yet," he added, noting that it's "not anywhere as soon as I would like it."
Additional 2021 Stadium Tour stops for Brooks include Kansas City, Mo. (Aug. 7); Lincoln, Neb. (Aug. 14); Seattle, Wash. (Sept. 4); Cincinnati, Ohio (Sept. 18); Charlotte, N.C. (Sept. 25); Baltimore, Md. (Oct. 2); and Foxborough, Mass. (Oct. 9).