UPDATE (12/26): Billy Strings has canceled his New Years Eve concerts scheduled for December 30, 31, and January 1 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The bluegrass singer-guitarist made the announcement via an Instagram message to fans. “We have a couple of key players in our squad who are positive for Covid right now and they won’t be any better by this weekend. We can’t do the show without them, ”he said. “The health and safety of our loved ones (including each of you) is paramount. That’s why I have to sit this one down. I feel really fucked up about this and hope to make up for it somehow.
As the spread of the Omicron variant reignites fears of another wave of Covid epidemics in the United States, the ongoing pandemic continues to disrupt the normal operations of touring artists in the country and in the American sphere. Billy Strings and Brett Eldredge both canceled shows this week – in Nashville and Chicago, respectively – due to positive cases of Covid in their circles.
“It is with the most [sic] sad that we have to cancel String the Halls due to a positive covid case within our team, ”Strings wrote on Instagram on Friday. “No one wanted these concerts to happen more than us, but we cannot risk the health and safety of you, our beloved fans, our team, the band and the hall staff.”
A perk for Nashville Rescue Mission, String the Halls was originally scheduled for December 17-18 at Marathon Music Works. Strings asked fans who purchased donation items for the show to bring them directly to the shelter. He also promised to make posters of the show available for purchase, with the proceeds going to the Nashville Rescue Mission.
Strings says he plans to play his New Years Eve run – December 30, December 31, and January 1 – in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (Tickets for String the Halls may be refunded at the point of purchase.) [Note: These dates have also been canceled.]
Meanwhile, singer Brett Eldredge has postponed the December 17-18 dates of his Glow Live vacation tour at the Chicago Theater after testing positive himself.
“Today has been a really tough day,” Eldredge said in an Instagram Live video Thursday, explaining that he was not feeling well and had passed several Covid tests. “I decided to go and see one last time to make sure it wasn’t Covid. And unfortunately, it turns out it was Covid, which really sucks. “
Unlike Strings, Eldredge was able to postpone both dates before the end of the year and will now host the Chicago shows on December 29 and 30.
The cancellations come as the live entertainment industry begins to reckon with another wave of Covid, this one caused by the highly transmissible variant Omicron. In New York City, Radio City Music Hall has canceled four performances of its Christmas show due to positive cases within the production, while Broadway shows like Tina and Hamilton also had to suppress performance. Nashville reported its first confirmed case of Omicron on Thursday. The city will host a New Years Eve concert on December 31 that airs nationally on CBS.