Zac Brown Band frontman Zac Brown announced in an emotional video on Thursday that he has had to lay off around 90 percent of his tour crew amid the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the band to postpone its spring tour. Brown said that he "hated" having to make the decision and issued a message to Americans who aren't taking the virus seriously.
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"It was a hard day today," a tearful Brown began. "For the last 15 years, my crew and who I carry with me out on the road to play my shows and do what we do, I've had to let go about 90 percent of my family. The people that I travel with and grew my business with. The people I high-five on the way out to the stage. The people who have done their jobs and done them well. I hate having to make this call but I can't generate out there and can't tour because of the coronavirus and everyone's safety."
Earlier this month, the Zac Brown Band announced that it was postponing its spring leg of The Owl Tour. Brown said that he was "fine" with the fact that he can't tour right now, but issued a warning to those "who are out partying and the people that are out sitting on beaches and the people that don't care if they get this virus and bring it home to their grandparents."
"I got this message that I want to say to the people who aren't taking this seriously, and the people who are out partying, and the people who are sitting out on beaches, and the people who don't care if they get this virus or bring it home to their grandparents and maybe kill their grandparents or complicate their lives," he said. "The longer that America doesn't take this seriously ... the longer that everyone is going to be out of jobs. The longer that we're going to be pushed into this recession that we're all about to enter into."
"The sickness has just begun here," he continued. "It's just started to rear its head. So you need to wake up, you need to stay indoors and try to socially distance yourself."
Brown also criticized the federal government's handling of the crisis.
"The sooner we take action on this — and we don't wait on our government to tell us this was a serious issue..." he said. "We're late to the game. I'm pretty ashamed of the way that our leadership has handled all of this. I'm pretty ashamed of a lot of things. We can't rely on our government to the the tell people what they need to do. You can read between the lines you can read all the articles of what is happening all around the world and we're less protected than a lot of those countries because no one can tell us what to do. We have to decide for ourselves as Americans and we have to look out for the future — for all of our jobs and for the economy and for each other."
"I love to spread music and spread love in song and share music with the world," the musician concluded. "I'm going to do my best to do that from closed doors. But if we're going to heal from this and we're going to get back to doing what we were doing before this hit, then everybody's gotta take this seriously."
Photo Credit: Getty / Isaac Brekken