Less than one week after canceling the remaining dates of his 2021 stadium tour, Garth Brooks is already making plans for touring safely in the pandemic era. The Country Music Hall of Fame member discussed the decision and what his touring future will look like in Monday’s episode of his Facebook series Inside Studio G.
“It boils down to one thing: it was the right decision to make, even though it was not my favorite decision,” Brooks said in the episode, responding to fans in places like Cincinnati and Charlotte where dates were scrapped after tickets had already been sold.
Brooks had been facing criticism for going through with stadium shows in Kansas City and Lincoln, Nebraska, as the Delta variant began to cause exponential growth in new cases of Covid-19. One fan questioned why he didn’t cancel those events as well.
“Maybe I should have. I don’t know,” he admitted. “I told them what we’re getting reports on is this ‘flash’ thing. The second wave is flashing and it’s dying out quickly in some of these other countries. We had a three-week window coming up and thought, ‘Let’s get to that three-week window and then we’ll make our decision.’”
With stadiums out of the question, Brooks is now looking to go to smaller venues where he can guarantee a safer environment than in massive stadiums. “This fall, dive bars,” he said. “Because you can fully vaccinate dive bars. People have got to have their card to even get in. The only way to get in through dive bars [is] country radio, your local country station.”
No dates or additional information have been announced for this upcoming dive bar tour, but Brooks’ previous tour of “dives” visited venues like Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, Texas; Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, California; and Joe’s on Weed Street in Chicago. Fans won tickets through their local country stations.
The “Friends in Low Places” singer also gave a glimpse into the way his organization has been run with regard to the pandemic, but was quick to point out that he couldn’t make that choice for everyone else.
“I’m vaccinated, 100% vaccinated. Everybody on the freakin’ tour, vaccinated,” he said. “I cannot make you get vaccinated. Until it becomes a law, it is a choice. And people, when things are a choice, you have to understand and respect that we’re all going to make our own choices.”
The Stadium Tour, which Brooks launched in 2019, will look to resume in 2022.