Garth Brooks announced that he would be calling off the remaining 2021 dates on his Stadium Tour, taking the cautious track due to the rapid increase in COVID cases this summer. Five planned shows will be refunded, impacting more than 350,000 who had purchased tickets to the shows. Two of the performances, in Cincinnati and Charlotte, had been initially scheduled to take place in 2020 but postponed by the first wave of COVID. Shows in Boston, Baltimore, and Nashville were more recently scheduled, with Nashville having been recently postponed due to inclement weather on the day of the show but now called off entirely.
“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 release announcing the cancellations. “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.”
Brooks had been one of the first artists to return to packed stadiums as attendance restrictions were being relaxed this summer after the intial push to vaccinate the public helped case numbers drop dramatically. At his first show, the singer urged other live performers to “get back in the game” from the stage. He performed in front of massive audiences in Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Cheyenne, WY, Kansas City, and Lincoln, Nebraska in June and July. Earlier in August, he paused sales on a planned stop in Seattle and said his team was “reassessing” the tour plans with the new COVID data coming in.
“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. 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.”
Garth Brooks’ team said that they plan to monitor COVID conditions and hope to resume touring before the year is over. But having postponed multiple shows in 2020 and now having to call several off a year later due to the same issue, they say they don’t intend to put any tickets on sale again until they are confident they won’t have to be called off.
“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,” Garth Brooks said.