Country singer Travis Tritt has sparked controversy after he canceled four tour dates at venues enforcing COVID-19 safety precautions. Tritt confirmed the cancellations in a statement to Billboard on Wednesday, telling the outlet that while he is "not against the vaccine," he is "against forcing people to take medicine that they may not need and may not want." The four canceled concerts had been at venues in states requiring either mask-wearing, a negative Covid-19 test result, or proof of vaccination.
The cancellations – affecting previously scheduled shows in Muncie, Indiana on Oct. 23, Philadelphia, Mississippi on November 6, Peoria, Illinois on Nov 11, and Louisville, Kentucky on Nov. 13 – were first announced on Tritt's official website. Tritt said he was "putting my money where my mouth is and announcing" by immediately canceling any shows at venues that "discriminates against concert-goers by requiring proof of vaccination, a COVID test, or a mask." Tritt noted that he has "been extremely vocal against mandates since the beginning" and the cancellations are "a sacrifice that I'm willing to make to stand up for the freedoms that generations of Americans have enjoyed for their entire lifetimes." Further opening up about the decision with Billboard, the musician said he is "not against the vaccine," but he is "against forcing people to take medicine that they may not need and may not want," adding, "I totally disagree with any mandate that would force people to go against their better judgement or would attack their personal freedoms."
The cancellations quickly sparked discussion on social media, with many fans expressing their disappointment over the canceled stops as others expressed their grief over Tritt's reasoning for the canceled shows. Acknowledging the reaction, Tritt said he "got literally hundreds of comments and direct messages from people on all social media platforms, which basically told me how disappointed they were," something he said was "heartbreaking." Keep scrolling to see how country music fans reacted to the news.
Love ya Travis, but am sad you refuse to be part of the solution to end this plague. I grew up in a household with parents and grandparents who were asked to do a lot more than this for the sake of their neighbors and the United States.— Tony Gruenewald (@TheArchivesKnow) October 19, 2021
"Asking for proof of a negative covid test is not forcing anyone to take medicine," tweeted one person. "Do better, Travis."prevnext
Concerts could 'cause an outbreak'
Remind me not to attend one of your germ tests. You better hope you don’t cause an outbreak— lori josephson (@lsjjlsl) October 19, 2021
"I guess you choose to not to go to places that require you to wear a seatbelt? And I guess you chose to not go to school growing up, because they require vaccines. And I guess you choose to not stop at red lights, as they are designed to keep you and other drivers safe," wrote another person, who went on to note, "Lots of laws and mandates that are made to keep you and other people safe, because the government (and everyone else) knows there are those that would do stupid stuff and risk the lives of others if those laws and mandates were not in place."prevnext
'Disregard for public health efforts'
Oh, ya, that’s the reason he’s cancelling shows 😂 pic.twitter.com/hgyl9E2RYg— William LeGate (@williamlegate) October 19, 2021
"Your disregard for public health efforts to fight the spread of Covid has not only resulted in 'a hit in the pocketbook,'" shared somebody else. "To many, including me, you've taken a hit in loss of respect. Love your music, but you're totally on the wrong side of this."prevnext
Well, I know those venues are really gonna miss the tens of dollars they would have made from your shows. Great business strategy too - killing off whatever remaining fan base you have left. Way to stick it to The Man, Travis!— Musicmidget 🩸🦷 (@tnmusicmidget) October 20, 2021
"This is not a personal freedom issue but a public health issue," added another. "You are condemning those who are immune compromised to a permanent quarantine. I won't attend any concerts where public health is not protected. I WAS a fan."prevnext
I am so mad that Travis Tritt canceled his upcoming shows that I went to Big Lots to acquire his most recent cassette and smashed it in the parking lot.— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) October 19, 2021
"The [CDC] thr [White House] and [POTUS] are not promoting fear. They are promoting safety," noted a fan. "I have enjoyed your music in the past, but as someone who is Immunocompromised I would never be able to attend one of your shows without risk to my life. Don't I matter as a fan?Heartless."prevnext
'Science and health'
It is not about fear. It is about science and public health.— Global Heat Band (@globalheatband) October 19, 2021
"Travis, I've been to several of your shows and enjoyed myself at them. But respectfully, you don't know the first thing about virology, immunology, or pandemics," commented somebody else. "As for 'fear-mongering,' I'd suggest the real fear-mongering is about the vaccines, which are safe."prevnext
October 19th will go down in history as the day thousands of people discovered they were blocked by some Travis Tritt guy, randomly.— devon sawa (@DevonESawa) October 20, 2021
"Personally, I won't let anyone into my films at the theater unless they prove they are blocked by Travis Tritt," joked one person in response to the influx of people learning they were blocked by Tritt amid the controversy. "It's the new vaccine card."prev