Garth Brooks on performing at bars instead of stadiums amid coronavirus pandemic: ‘Dive bars are vaccinated’
Garth Brooks revealed audience vaccinations are the reason he opted to pivot his stadium tour into a dive bar tour.
The country singer kicked off a stadium tour in 2019 but had to stop it when the pandemic hit in 2020. He picked it up again in July only to bring it to a halt again out of an abundance of caution due to increasing coronavirus cases throughout the country. While there are tentative plans for it to resume again in 2022, Brooks is forging ahead with live performing, just in significantly smaller venues.
Speaking on the Facebook series "Inside Studio G," Brooks reminded his fans that "stadiums are officially out for this year." He further explained that he’s deemed dive bars and small venues OK because it’s easier to enforce vaccine requirements.
"The dive bars are vaccinated!" Brooks said (via Yahoo Entertainment). "That's how you get to do it."
The outlet reports that those who attend Brooks’ upcoming shows must be fully vaccinated for at least 14 days leading up to the event. Alternatively, they can provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours prior to the show or proof of a negative antigen test within six hours.
The celebrity stated that he believes venues can enforce these policies a lot easier than a massive stadium can. However, he noted that he’s watching efforts by NFL and college football to see how their enforcement goes.
"I know that people are saying they're doing this at the NFL games," Brooks explained. "Great for them. I just can't imagine how you pull all that together."
Brooks noted that he’s aware his decision is controversial. However, he feels he’s doing what’s in the best interest of both his fans and the general public as cases continue to rise in the U.S. despite vaccinations.
As of Tuesday morning, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 229,108,347 people across 192 countries and territories, resulting in at least 4,700,460 deaths. In the U.S., all 50 states plus the District of Columbia have reported confirmed cases of COVID-19, tallying more than 42,289,826 illnesses and at least 676,092 deaths.
"The thing that scares me that you have to look at is: I never saw the second wave coming, right," he said. "I didn't know there was going to be such a thing. Well, is there a third wave? So you just watch this."
Brooks continued: "What you want to do is what's best for the people. Man, I want to play music. I want to get out there and laugh. I'm telling you the look in people's eyes from stage — from getting together singing again — brought so much hope and so much joy. It killed me to have to shut it down again. But you want to do what is best for the people that are sweet enough to come and see you."
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