(NEXSTAR) – Garth Brooks is ready to keep performing at dive bars — despite canceling his stadium shows — because the fans at those dive bars will be vaccinated, he says.
Brooks had previously announced the cancellation of the remaining five dates of his Stadium Tour in mid-August, amid concern over the ongoing outbreak of the COVID-19 delta variant. Later that month, he revealed on “Inside Studio G,” his Facebook Live series, that plans were underway for a new stop on his Dive Bar Tour, at a smaller venue in Oklahoma City, for attendees who provided proof of vaccination or the results of a negative COVID test.
Brooks elaborated on his plans for the show in Oklahoma City during the most recent episode of “Inside Studio G” on Monday.
“The dive bars are vaccinated, that’s how you get to do it,” Brooks explained of his reasoning for resuming shows at smaller venues. “So, the great thing about this is, [the fans are] vaccinated or they have to show a 3-day negative in-advance test.”
Tickets for the Oct. 11 concert will be awarded to listeners of Oklahoma City’s Jake FM radio station. Per the contest’s official rules, winners must present proof of full COVID vaccination at least 14 days prior to the concert date, or the results of a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the show. Attendees can also provide a negative antigen test taken within 6 hours of the show.
As of Monday, over 500,000 people had entered for a chance to win tickets. Only about 700 spots are available, according to Brooks and his Facebook series producers.
During his Facebook Live show, Brooks further reiterated that stadium shows “are officially out” for the remainder of the year, but said that he and his tour managers are scheduling dates in 2022.
He also responded to fans who questioned why he wasn’t just mandating vaccinations at his larger shows, too.
“I know people are saying they’re doing this at the NFL games,” Brooks told viewers. “Great for them. I just can’t imagine how you put all that together.”
He added that he’s going to “watch the numbers” concerning COVID transmission rates to help make decisions about makeup dates for his larger shows.
“[It] killed me to have to shut it down again,” Brooks said of the recent decision to cancel his Stadium Tour, which had already been shut down once before in 2020. “But you wanna do what’s best for the people that are sweet enough to come to see you.”
Brooks said he was planning more stops on his smaller Dive Bar Tour for November and December, as well as another date somewhere in between. He said possibly at places where the Stadium Tours were canceled but did not reveal any specific details.