In an emotional Instagram video posted Wednesday (March 18), Zac Brown revealed that 90 percent of his road crew got laid off due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic forcing the cancellation of all of the Zac Brown Band's 2020 tour dates.
"For the last 15 years, my crew and who I carry with me out on the road to play my shows and do what we do, I've had to let go about 90 percent of my family," Brown said. "The people that I traveled with and grew my business with. The people I high-five on the way out to the stage. The people who have done their jobs and done them well. I hate having to make this call, but I can't generate out there and can't tour because of the coronavirus and everyone's safety."
Brown also encouraged people to stay home and take the coronavirus seriously.
"I've got this message that I want to say to the people who aren't taking this seriously and the people who are out partying and sitting on beaches...people who don't care if they get this virus or bring it home to their grandparents and maybe kill their grandparents or complicate their lives: the longer that America doesn't take this seriously and doesn't stay in and try to contain this, the longer that everyone's gonna be out of jobs, the longer that we're going to be pushed into this recession that we're all about to enter in to. The sickness has just begun here. You need to wake up. You need to stay indoors and try to socially distance yourself and stay inside. America can heal from this."
Brown postponed the spring leg of the Owl Tour on March 10 "out of caution and due to increasing public health concerns."
"This was an extremely difficult decision, but the well-being of our fans is always our top priority," Brown said of the shows impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The first round of now cancelled dates stretched from a March 12 concert at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Mo. to an April 25 appearance at Nashville, Tenn.'s Bridgestone Arena.
On March 20, Brown announced the cancellation of his band's remaining 2020 tour dates, including the initially postponed dates from The Owl tour and the entirety of the Grammy-winning group's Roar With the Lions summer tour.
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"We are grateful to our fans for understanding this decision as well as everyone on the front lines who can't stay at home because their work is essential. We believe we can all overcome this together," the band's statement on social media read. "As soon as it's safe, we'll see you back out on the road again. Until then, stay safe, healthy and do your part."
In recent weeks, a postponement or cancellation announcement has been made about seemingly every country music-related spring tour or music festival, from South By Southwest to Stagecoach, as society adjusts to coronavirus concerns.