Citing concerns about the surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, Garth Brooks has canceled the next five cities on his stadium tour a month after he had returned to the road.
The five concert locations being canceled are Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati (Sept. 18), Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte (Sept. 25), M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore (Oct. 2), Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. (Oct.9), and Nissan Stadium in Nashville, which has not been rescheduled after being rained out last month.
Tickets for a Seattle show originally announced for Sept. 4 were never put on sale after Brooks announced earlier this month that he would reevaluate plans to go forward with the tour following his show in Lincoln, Nebraska this past Saturday that drew more than 90,000. There were no other announced shows for 2021 as Brooks tends to roll out shows one at a time usually a few months before the show date.
“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. 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,” Brooks said in a statement. “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 five shows but with a hopeful heart, we will reschedule and start over when this wave seems to be behind us.”
Brooks’ band and crew were vaccinated, and attendees were expected to follow local COVID protocols; he did not require that attendees be vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. He had asked that fans wear a mask if they felt more comfortable, saying on a recent episode of his weekly Facebook series Inside Studio G, “You can’t be safe enough. You can’t be cautious enough. Keep your space. Keep your distance … Please feel free to wear the masks at the concert. Nobody is going to look at you strange, I promise.”
As Brooks returned to the road earlier this summer, he told Billboard safety would be the top priority. “Let’s say we get the best reviews we’ve ever gotten in our life. Still, for me, the most important thing is what happens after that in that city,” he said. “Did everyone come out of it OK? And if so, then, thank you, God. That’s what you’re hoping for more than anything.”
There have been no reports of any resulting outbreaks from his outdoor shows.
Ticketmaster will automatically issue refunds to ticket holders. Brooks said in the statement he hopes to return to the road before the end of the year, and that new concerts “will be sought in 2022.”