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Packed country concerts roil Nashville’s ravaged music industry

This past weekend, Chase Rice lived out the message in one of his newest songs.

“Dear corona,” the country artist sang in a video he posted in March. “You don’t know the heart of a country fan/ You don’t know that we don’t give a damn. … We’re gonna show up, hold our drinks high/ Sing songs ‘bout trucks and beer.”

On Saturday night in Petros, Tennessee, hundreds of those fans showed up to see Rice sing outside at Historic Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. The standing-room only crowd packed in as tightly as any audience did before the pandemic — while coronavirus cases in the U.S. continue to rise — and those in the front rows, at least, did so without masks.

Country singer Chase Rice is receiving backlash after playing to a packed crowd Saturday in Petros, Tenn.

For Rice, 34, this appeared to be cause for celebration. He shared his view from the stage with a now-expired video on Instagram. “We back,” he captioned the clip, panning across the cheering crowd.

This week Rice is facing a swift backlash — as is fellow country singer Chris Janson, who played a similarly packed festival in Filer, Idaho, on Saturday — as his concert  quickly became national news.

Janson, who wrote his own coronavirus-related

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