Travis Tritt announced that he was cancelling all upcoming shows at venues that had any COVID-19 restrictions in place, knocking out several performances. The announcement came Monday, with impacted shows called off in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Illinois, and Kentucky.
The fear-mongering narrative is breaking down. People who stand up against this narrative scare the hell out of those who promote fear. Hold the line and stand strong. 🇺🇸🎸
— Travis Tritt (@Travistritt) October 19, 2021
Whereas some artists have opted against performing at venues that don’t require mandatory vaccination and others opting against performing at venues that do, Tritt is calling off shows that have any mitigation efforts in place at all, including mask-wearing or providing a negative test in lieu of being fully vaccinated.
“I’m putting my money where my mouth is and announcing that any venue or promoter mandating masks, requiring vaccinations, or pushing COVID testing protocols on my fans will not be tolerated,” Tritt said in a statement.
“This is a sacrifice that I’m willing to make to stand up for the freedoms that generations of Americans have enjoyed for their entire lifetimes.”
Existing shows that had no restrictions in place are not impacted by the decision.
Vaccination mandates for live entertainment have been a polarizing issue as the business looks to rebound safely from a long shutdown forced by the COVID-19 pandemic. All who attend Broadway performances must be fully vaccinated, with no option for a negative test – at least through the end of the year. Live Nation Entertainment and AEG Presents have both put vaccination requirements in place, with limited exceptions where required by law, such as in Florida and Texas. But most event-goers seem largely fine with meeting whatever requirements are put in place, at least for the time being, in order to avoid the large-scale shutdowns that dominated the last year and a half.
Reaction to Tritt’s stand has been predictably mixed, with some fans applauding his defense of their freedom to not be vaccinated and others making him out to be a pariah for such a hard stance against what most scientists agree to be commonsense precautions during a pandemic.
“You have disgraced yourself and totally disappointed so many people who followed you!!!,” wrote twitter user @ljvilardo in response to Tritt’s announcement. “I will never attend another one of your concerts nor even listen to a single song of yours again!! You sold our soul!! You are pathetic!!”
“Been a fan of yours for a long time,” wrote twitter user @EppsCody. “After you canceled some of your concerts because of showing if you got the poke or not makes me like you even more.”
Another thread of reasoning has also been proposed – that the “freedom” related stance may just be a smokescreen to call off shows that weren’t selling well. One twitter thread outlines the enormous number of unsold seats at some of the impacted events, which could have made any excuse for postponement or cancellation an attractive one, particularly one that is catnip to a certain type of consumer, which happens to be well represented in the fanbase that artists such as Tritt are hoping to reach.
“Travis Tritt cancels tour because of COVID mandates” 🧐😅 pic.twitter.com/zJkazQBZHJ
— William LeGate (@williamlegate) October 20, 2021
Regardless, hopes are high that vaccination requirements will be on the wane if COVID-19 case numbers continue to drop as they have in recent weeks. Just recently, two of the largest festivals on the 2022 calendar – Coachella and Stagecoach – just announced they would no longer require proof of vaccination for attendance at their 2022 returns.