Chase Rice criticized for packed concert

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Rice shared images of her show, held Saturday at the Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary grounds in Petros, Tennessee, on Instagram stories, which disappear after 24 hours.

Since then, the video has been shared on several other social media accounts.

Brushy Mountain is a former prison more than 130 miles east of Nashville that has been converted into a museum and concert hall.

The video showed a mostly unmasked crowd gathered, singing and jumping when Rice, 34, urged them to leave the stage.

When CNN contacted him for comment, a Rice representative forwarded a statement from Brian May, vice president of the Brushy Mountain Group, stating: "All local requirements were met for the recent concert and numerous precautions were taken."

"We dramatically reduced our maximum venue capacity from 10,000 to 4,000 maximum capacity (less than the 50% state recommendation) with fewer than 1,000 (954 tickets sold with 809 tickets scanned) in attendance on Saturday night, providing a Ample space on the outdoor grass area for fans to extend to their own comfort level, "the statement said. "All guests received temperature checks prior to entering the venue and free hand sanitizer was provided to everyone at the entrance."

Vendors and staff were recommended "to wear masks and gloves when interacting with guests, and scarves were available for purchase on-site," according to the statement, but the venue "was unable to further reinforce the recommended physical distance. on the signage posted on the property and we are looking for alternative future scenarios that further protect attendees, artists and their teams and our employees. "

Local government officials did not immediately respond to CNN's request to confirm whether the organizers had complied with local requirements.

Fellow country artist Kelsea Ballerini criticized Rice in a tweet for traveling amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Imagine being selfish enough to jeopardize the health of thousands of people, not to mention the possible domino effect, and playing at a NORMAL country concert right now," Ballerini, 26, tweeted. "@ChaseRiceMusic, we all want (and need) to tour. We only care about our fans and their families enough to wait."

Another country singer, Mickey Guyton, 37, tweeted in response: "An absolutely selfish act. What a shame."

Artists from across the music industry have had to stop touring in the midst of the health crisis, as festivals, shows and events have been canceled or made virtual.

According to her site, Rice's next scheduled stop on her tour is scheduled for Friday at the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland, Kentucky, followed by some dates to be played at the movie theater in Georgia.

In March, she regretted having to quarantine a song titled "Dear Corona".

"Dear crown, you don't know the heart of a country fanatic / You don't know we don't care," Rice sang in the video she posted. "So you can reprogram Stagecoach / But you have to understand / That you don't know the heart of a country fanatic."

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