Garth Brooks' sold-out show at Nissan Stadium in Nashville was postponed Saturday night amid a severe lightning storm over Middle Tennessee. At first, stadium officials even told ticket holders who had not arrived at the gates yet to shelter in place in their cars. There was also an evacuation order, but some noted that many in the crowd did not seek shelter and remained in their seats. Late Saturday night, stadium officials confirmed the show would be postponed and there will be an attempt to reschedule Sunday night.
The PA announcer asked concertgoers to seek shelter as a lightning advisory was in place as the concert was supposed to start, The Tennessean reporter Mattew Leimkuehler reported. Nissan Stadium officials also told fans who were still in the parking lot to stay in their cars. Fans who were already at the gates were asked to continue through to seek shelter at the stadium.
Just walked into Nissan Stadium for @garthbrooks as the PA announcer asked concertgoers to seek shelter due to a lightning advisory. Consistent lightning flashes as the storm moves in from the north. I believe Emmylou Harris was on stage for the @opry set before delay. pic.twitter.com/tfond4Ks0V— Matthew Leimkuehler (@mattleimkuehler) August 1, 2021
Emmylou Harris and Trisha Yearwood were onstage at the time the evacuation order was given, reports The Tennessean. Chris Young performed the Opry opening set. Music will be allowed to resume 30 minutes after the last lightning strike within eight miles of the stadium. The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Davidson and Wilson counties at 7:57 p.m. CT, and it was set to expire at 8:45 p.m. CT.
The Brooks concert was set to be one of the largest music events in Music City since many of the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. Over 70,000 fans were expected. During a chat with reporters on Friday, Brooks said the concert felt like a homecoming, especially since he can see Nissan Stadium from his house.
"I love this. I love sleeping in your own bed, [then] you get to come down, play the stadium. ... For anybody that may know their history with me in this town, we moved into [former] Mayor [Richard] Fulton's old house in '90, maybe '91," the Country Music Hall of Famer said, reports The Tennessean. "Why this is different from anywhere else is simply because those people in those seats, I know a lot of 'em are going to be people live next door to."
At the Garth Brooks concert in Nashville tonight, about a third of the crowd just ignored an evacuation order and cheered as a major lightning storm approached. In case you were surprised that people are refusing to get the vaccine. pic.twitter.com/aORb36cuhW— Sam Warlick (@sawarlick) August 1, 2021
Masks were not required for the event, since Nissan Stadium is an outdoor venue, although officials encouraged unvaccinated fans to wear face coverings. Brooks said his tour employees will be asked to wear masks through January. "Our job is to gather people in mass numbers. If that's a bad thing, we need to stand back. That's what we'll do. As much as I hate to do it, it'd be an honor because you're doing your part," Brooks said Wednesday. "My wish is that ... we do everything safe so we can enjoy it and not sit in the stands being scared."