After calling off a show in Nashville this past Saturday due to weather conditions, Garth Brooks and his team are back with a difficult announcement: they’re going to be “assessing” the remainder of the country icon’s tour dates due to the resurgence in COVID cases across the country.
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Brooks will, however, finish out this leg of the tour, playing shows in Kansas City, Missouri on August 7 and Lincoln, Nebraska on August 14. It’ll be after those shows, during a three-week break, that the “Friends In Low Places” singer and his team will be making the tough decision.
Already though, they’ve pulled the plug on a date in Seattle originally scheduled for September 4. Tickets had gone on sale just this past Friday.
“It breaks my heart to see city after city go on sale and then have to ask those sweet people and the venues to reschedule,” Brooks said in the announcement. “We have a three-week window coming up where we, as a group, will assess the remainder of the stadium tour this year. It’s humbling to see people put this much faith in you as an artist, and it kills me to think I am letting them down.”
The announcement comes as the fate of live music finds itself in a precarious circumstance yet again—hospitalizations for COVID have been on a notable rise since June. In the past week alone, the United States has seen a 46% uptick in admissions, in part due to the spread of the Delta variant. Yet, alongside the recent outbreak comes a wave of new vaccinations—there’s also been a 49% increase of folks getting fully vaccinated in the United States in the past week.
With fans, artists, and industry professionals alike all hoping for shows to return in full swing this year, the announcement from Brooks and his team is perhaps a sign that the storm clouds aren’t out of sight just quite yet. And Brooks isn’t alone—Kiss, Guns & Roses, Bright Eyes and more have all had to change touring plans as outbreaks have popped up around the world. At the same time, other major events —like summer music festivals—are going on as planned, and with safety protocols and vaccination measures on the rise, there’s still plenty of reason to keep hope.
Watch Garth Brooks perform a medley of songs at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards below: