Garth Brooks Reevaluating Stadium Tour as COVID-19 Cases Rise Once Again
Garth Brooks has canceled a planned onsale date for tickets to his recently announced show in Seattle, Wash., and says he'll rethink all scheduled concerts after performing in Lincoln, Neb., on Aug. 14. The move comes as cases of COVID-19 rise nationwide once again.
After Aug. 14, Brooks has shows scheduled for Cincinnati, Ohio (Sept. 18); Charlotte, N.C. (Sept. 25); Baltimore, Md. (Oct. 2); and Boston, Mass. (Oct. 9). Tickets for his Sept. 4 show in Seattle were set to go on sale on Friday (Aug. 6), but a note from his PR team says that will not happen; instead, the singer and his team will use three weeks to decide how and when to proceed with his concerts, all scheduled for outdoor stadiums.
“Here’s the important thing: Our job is to gather people in mass numbers. If that’s a bad thing, then we need to stand down. And that’s what we’ll do," Brooks said on Friday (July 30) prior to a planned stadium show in Nashville. He furthered that it would be an honor to do the right thing, but gave no indication that this kind of move was imminent.
At Brooks' show in Nashville, a video encouraged attendees to wear masks, but also asked that no one bother those who chose to or not to do so. The show was ultimately canceled due to storms, forcing all in attendance to seek shelter in the concourse of the venue, Nissan Stadium.
"It's humbling to see people put this much faith in you as an artist," Brooks says in a statement, "and it kills me to think I am letting them down."
Per the New York Times, the seven-day average of new cases of COVID-19 has exceeded Summer 2020's rolling average. The greatest spike in new cases took place after the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, with a seven-day average of over 230,000 on Jan. 6. The average for Aug. 2, 2021, was 85,000, a 400 percent increase from one month ago.
Every state is reporting huge case increases, with the Delta variant driving tremendous spikes in many southern states. About 97 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations are of patients who have not been vaccinated.
Over a dozen major headlining tours are set to begin in the next eight weeks, including many indoor arena tours. Jason Aldean will kick off his tour on Thursday (Aug. 5), as do the Zac Brown Band. Thomas Rhett and Blake Shelton are due to begin separate tours in mid-August, while September finds Kane Brown, Dan + Shay, Eric Church and more planning to begin long-awaited tours.