Since restarting his stadium tour in July, Garth Brooks has played to more than 300,000 fans in five cities. Now, citing “a new wave of the Covid-19 virus spreading across the nation,” Brooks has canceled dates in the next five cities.
In a statement, the country superstar called it a “very difficult decision,” saying he would issue refunds on roughly 350,000 tickets.
No action is required by ticket holders to obtain a refund, said a statement on the artist’s website. Ticketmaster will issue a refund to the original method of payment used at time of purchase.
“In July, I sincerely thought the pandemic was falling behind us,” said Brooks in the statement. “Now, watching this new wave, I realize we are still in the fight and I must do my part. I have asked the wonderful cities of Cincinnati and Charlotte to wait too long and I don’t want to now do that same thing to the great folks in Boston and Baltimore. As far as Nashville, we are looking for a make up date from the July rain out and though this is not Covid related, to make them wait makes me sad, as well. So, it is with a heavy heart we announce the decision to cancel all 5 shows but with a hopeful heart, we will reschedule and start over when this wave seems to be behind us.”
The U.S. is seeing some of the highest daily totals of cases since early February, with Johns Hopkins reporting over 128,000 new infections on Wednesday and more than 1,000 new deaths. The test positivity rate, which is a good measure of the rise of infections, shot to 11.45% on Wednesday, just about the highest it’s been in months.
The five canceled tour dates are for Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati (now rescheduled for September 18), Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte (now September 25), M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore (now October 2), Gillette Stadium in Foxborough (now October 9) and Nissan Stadium in Nashville, which has not been rescheduled yet.
“The joy I have seen in everyone’s faces as live music returns has been more than worth our constant diligence to maintain safety protocols not only for the fans, but for our band, the crew and the hard working staff in these stadiums,” said Brooks. “Their dedication to safety for the people who fill those seats has been a miracle to watch and a blessing to receive. I am truly grateful.”
A spokesperson for the tour said the team will continue to monitor the virus’ impact and watch how schools, sports and other entertainment entities are handling this stage of the pandemic.
“I’m sincerely hoping we are back on tour before the year’s end,” said Brooks. “With that said, the most important thing to me is fulfilling my end of the Stadium Tour by making sure every show is doable before putting tickets on sale (that is why we pulled the Seattle on sale) and making sure the environment these people are trading their time and money to put themselves into is not only the best experience ever, but also the safest one we can provide.”
Los Angeles in the past week mandated masks at every outdoor mass event over 10,000 people, including concerts.