Eric Church Wants Fans to Feel Safe Before He Tours Again

Concerts and music festivals are currently delayed until the middle of the summer due to the coronavirus pandemic, but new models are indicating that their start date could be much further back than that. Eric Church agrees with new predictions, telling the Associated Press that he thinks concerts will return in the summer or fall of 2021.

'For me, I think it's summer or fall of '21," he said. "I am going on the promise of a vaccine. I’m going on the possibility of a therapeutic that could change the game." The 42-year-old added that he wants fans to be able to experience concerts the way they are used to rather than apprehensively. "When people come back, they have to feel that it’s OK to be there, that they can experience it the way they want to experience it," Church said. "They should be able to go up and throw their arms around the person next to them. They should not be scared about being three feet away and not six."

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Double Down Tour | November 22, 2019 | Sacramento | Night 1 📷 : @theanthonydangio

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Church's most recent tour was his Double Down Tour, which included no opening act and saw Church and his band play back-to-back shows in the same city, changing the set list for each concert. The North Carolina native explained that the coronavirus has reminded him of the fear felt by so many, including himself, after the Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting in Las Vegas in 2017. "The thing that shook me about Vegas was that was my safe place," he said. "As messed up as the world is, I never in a million years thought that could be a danger area."

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While Church doesn't have plans to hit the road anytime soon, he is planning to release a new album. The singer recently spent time in a makeshift studio in the North Carolina mountains with several writers and his band, where he wrote and recorded a song every day. "I don’t know if this is an album, if it’s two albums, if it’s three," he said. "I feel confident enough with the material that people will get to hear all of these songs at some point."

Church debuted a new song, "Never Break Heart," for his performance for ACM Presents: Our Country, and he shared a snippet of another new track, "Through My Ray-Bans," at the end of a video in which he read a defiant poem offering fans hope. "I believe these halls will roar again," he proclaimed in his message. "These stadiums will be deafening and the answer to this enemy. The silence of now will cower at the noise of soon. When the question of who will answer this call is asked, thousands will raise their fists and say, 'I will, we will.' And we damn sure will. Where fear preys, we will feed. Where pestilence stalks, we will hunt. I feel for our enemy, for it has no chance, it has no prayer. And I believe, I believe our best is yet to come."