Garth Brooks Scales Down Shows Due To COVID-19: ‘Stadiums Are Officially Out

Garth Brooks has replaced stadium concerts for dive bar gigs, for the rest of 2021 at least.

“Stadiums are officially out for this year,” the country star said in the latest episode of his “Inside Studio G” show on Monday.

“Because the dive bars are vaccinated, that’s how you get to do it,” Brooks explained of his decision to scale down the shows. It’s easier to ensure fans are fully inoculated from COVID-19 or tested negative in the previous 72 hours, he said.

Brooks, who is fully vaccinated, paused his stadium tour at the onset of the pandemic. He picked it up again as restrictions eased but in August announced he’d pulled five upcoming dates because of the surge in cases fueled by the highly contagious delta variant. “I must do my part,” he said at the time.

“The thing that scares me, that you got to look at is, I never saw the second wave coming, I didn’t know there would be such a thing. Well, there’s a third wave so you just watch this,” he said Monday. “And what you want to do is what’s best for the people.”

“I want to play music. I want to get out there and laugh,” Brooks continued. “And I’m telling you the look in people’s eyes from stage, of getting together singing again, brought so much hope and so much joy, killed me to have to shut it down again. But you want to do what’s best for the people that are sweet enough to come and see you.”

“So we’re looking for dates,” he added. “That’s why dive bars instead of stadiums.”

Brooks’ stance is in stark contrast to that of British rocker Eric Clapton, who vowed not to perform at venues requiring proof of vaccination ― but then appeared to do so anyway.

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