With the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally taking place in South Dakota, hundreds of thousands are on hand to watch live music and check out motorcycles amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Professional wrestler Chris Jericho and his band Fozzy were on hand to perform as part of a run of four shows. The band faced criticism for the decision, but Jericho later explained his decision-making process.
"We actually did four shows this week, and the reason for that is we had our 'Save the World Tour' which was originally scheduled for April and May, but it got postponed to July and August, then got postponed to October and November," Jericho said during his Saturday Night Special. "Four shows remained in August, and I was like 'How?' The shows are in South Dakota, and North Dakota, and we have one in Fort Madison, Iowa, which is right near the border of South Dakota."
Chris Jericho and his band FOZZY played to a packed concert with no social distancing or masks last night in North Dakota. pic.twitter.com/TbaSx11fim— Uncensored Wrestling 🇮🇪 (@Uncensored_WWE) August 9, 2020
As Jericho continued to explain, the band held these shows due to lower numbers of positive coronavirus tests in both states. He also said that the band followed guidelines in order to perform. They only allowed a limited number of fans and then conducted screenings at the door.
According to World O Meter, North Dakota has 7,596 confirmed coronavirus cases. South Dakota, on the other hand, has 9,605 cases. Iowa has 48,789 total cases. The number of cases is still rising across all three states, and there are more concerns about a potential spread after the motorcycle rally.
"The reason why the shows have happened is because these states of North Dakota and South Dakota have low COVID cases, less than 1000 in both states, I think Florida had 9000 today alone," Jericho said. "The venues are either outside, or they are half capacity. We are sold out tonight in Minot with I think 50% capacity, last night we were sold out in Sioux Falls, SD with 35% capacity. We hand out masks at the door, the temperature checks. We stay on the bus all day, the Fozzy crew and camp have been tested."
Following reports of the concert, many Twitter users voiced their frustrations about the longtime professional wrestler. Some called for AEW to force Jericho into quarantine after his brief tour ends. They "don't want him to infect" other wrestlers. Others just made jokes about the band. They commented that it would "be embarrassing" to die after contracting the coronavirus at a Fozzy concert.