It turns out Chase Rice wasn’t the only country musician inviting large crowds of unmasked attendees over the weekend. The Hwy 30 Music Festival in Filer, Idaho garnered attention on social media, as video of a non-socially distanced maskless crowd were shown congregating during a Chris Janson performance at the event.
Janson, who has a song titled “Put Me Back to Work,” with lyrics calling for the end of the COVID-19 shutdowns originally shared a video of the crowd on social media, before deleting the clip after facing backlash according to The Washington Post. According to the Brooklyn Vegan, Janson has not yet commented on this incident.
Oh look, Chris Janson also doesn’t care about the health of his fans! I used to work for his management company but they laid me off in April so now I can come right out and say that this is reprehensible, yay! pic.twitter.com/5LFeTpeYRk
— whitney pastorek (@whittlz) June 28, 2020
Luckily the organizer of the event, Gordy Schroeder, did comment on the aftermath, stating that the venue provided attendees free face masks and gloves and told guests to use hand sanitizer, while promoting social distancing. He then went on to state that the crowd “came forward” for Janson’s performance, ignoring social distancing rules, before stating that their actions were no more morally unjustified compared to the Black Lives Matter protests.
“How I kind of see it, and I hate to be this way, people were allowed to protest and riot. And we saw where supposedly that doesn’t cause a bump [in COVID-19 cases],” Schroeder told Billboard. “These people weren’t rioting. They weren’t being bad. All they were doing was enjoying music and wanting to live… They were enjoying themselves and loving on one another and enjoying music. And if it’s not OK to do that, but it’s okay to riot and it’s okay to protest everything, then I went and fought for this country for the wrong reasons, I guess.”
While the Black Lives Matter protests have not yet seen a surge in cases, this is largely attributed to the widespread use of face masks and the fact that the virus can be dormant for a couple of weeks. Idaho is currently experiencing a surge in cases on the other hand, according to local media outlets.
Photo Credit: Boston Lynn Schulz