Garth Brooks to Replace Stadium Concerts with Dive Bar Shows to Ensure Attendees Are Vaccinated
Garth Brooks is shifting his tour from stadiums to dive bars for a safer setting as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
During the latest episode of his Facebook series Inside Studio G Monday, the country star, 59, told fans that "stadiums are officially out for this year." However, he discussed plans to perform at dive bars because "dive bars are vaccinated."
Brooks said that he and his team want attendees to provide proof of vaccination or provide a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the show, which he believes would be easier to require and monitor in the smaller setting. "The Dance" singer added that he's going to watch and learn from the NFL, schools, and other organizations regarding safety protocol to heed COVID-19 concerns for his concerts in the future.
"The thing that scares me that you have to look at is, I never saw the second wave coming," Brooks said on the show. "I didn't know there was going to be such a thing. Well, is there a third wave? So, you just watch this."
He continued, "What you want to do is what's best for the people. I want to play music and I want to get out there and laugh... it'd kill me to have to shut it down again."
As of now, the Grammy winner said his team has found a few replacement venues and dates for the cities he planned to visit on his stadium tour.
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Brooks first launched his stadium tour in 2019 before it was postponed in 2020 soon after the pandemic began. The country star returned to the road in July this year, and his Aug. 7 concert at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium even featured a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on-site for attendees.
But last month, Brooks canceled five shows on his stadium tour — Foxborough, Massachusetts, Charlotte, North Carolina, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Nashville — due to the Delta variant and surge of COVID-19 cases across the country.
"In July, I sincerely thought the pandemic was falling behind us. Now, watching this new wave, I realize we are still in the fight and I must do my part," Brooks said in a statement at the time, sharing hopes for rescheduled events.
Brooks and his team are fully vaccinated, and he has internal guidelines to keep his band and crew safe from the virus. He follows the rules set by the state in which he plays for audience protocols. The singer often plays a video before his concerts asking people to be respectful of those wearing masks — and those who aren't.
"My wish is … we do everything safe so [fans] can enjoy [the show] and not sit in the stands and be scared," he said. "We're all coming down from this at our own speed. I hope people can come [to a concert] and let it all go."