Great White Address Backlash Over Concert With No Masks Or Social Distancing

On Thursday night, the band Great White performed at an outdoor show in North Dakota that had no coronavirus precautions in place. The performance, naturally, drew attention and criticism. The band have now addressed the performance in a new statement to Billboard.

“We have had the luxury of hindsight and we would like to apologize to those who disagree with our decision to fulfill our contractual agreement,” it reads. “The Promoter and staff were nothing but professional and assured us of the safety precautions. Our intent was simply to perform our gig, outside, in a welcoming, small town.”

Here’s the full statement:

We understand that there are some people who are upset that we performed this show, during this trying time. We assure you that we worked with the Promoter. North Dakota’s government recommends masks be worn, however, we are not in a position to enforce the laws. We have had the luxury of hindsight and we would like to apologize to those who disagree with our decision to fulfill our contractual agreement. The Promoter and staff were nothing but professional and assured us of the safety precautions. Our intent was simply to perform our gig, outside, in a welcoming, small town. We value the health and safety of each and every one of our fans, as well as our American and global community. We are far from perfect.

The band’s appearance in North Dakota had apparently been planned prior to the pandemic as part of the town of Dickinson’s First On First performance series. “We do not have restrictions, believe it or not,” event coordinator April Getz told The Dickinson Press before the show. “It’s one of those things where if people feel comfortable coming down and mixing and mingling, that’s their personal choice. We’re leaving it up to everybody that chooses to attend.”

It’s worth noting that Jack Russell, the former singer of Great White who now performs as Jack Russell’s Great White and was not at the Great White show on Thursday night, has been vocal about the need to wear masks and staying distanced. “There’s no need to be out [in public places]. People don’t take it seriously — they don’t take the virus seriously. It’s sad,” he said in a recent interview.

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