Kid Rock Cancels Shows in Texas as ‘Over Half the Band’ Battles COVID-19
The rocker, rapper and sometimes country singer was scheduled to perform at Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth on those nights. He turned to Twitter on Thursday (Aug. 26) to give fans the news of the cancellations, writing, "I am pi--ed. Over half the band has f--king covid (not me), and before u s--t for brains bloggers and media trolls run your mouths, many of them, like me, have been vaccinated."
Kid Rock goes on to say that he wanted to keep the dates anyway and "at least try to entertain u good folks," even if he had to play an acoustic set, deejay or juggle.
"But seriously, s--t is way out of my hands on this one," he adds. "I am beyond upset and you real ones know I would never cancel if I absolutely didn’t have too. For this, I am sorry."
Fox News reports that the entertainer — whose real name is Robert Ritchie — previously performed at Billy Bob's on Aug. 21 and 22. Those shows marked some of his first appearances back on stage since the COVID-19 pandemic closed down large-scale live music events across the board in early 2020.
Kid Rock returned to the stage for the first time since quarantine began with a headlining set at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip during the 2021 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, S.D., on Aug. 8. He turned to social media afterward to share a picture of the packed, maskless crowd, telling fans how much he had missed performing and adding a defiant message.
"There is nothing the mainstream media or internet and social media trolls can do but look at this pic and weep, knowing they will never beat us," he wrote, adding, "F--k them, love to you all."
ABC News reports that contact tracers have recorded 178 cases of COVID-19 across five different states that all trace back to the Sturgis rally, adding that the total number of cases that will eventually trace back to the event is still unknown. Health officials state that it's not possible to know how many of those people were infected at the event versus elsewhere, but the 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally ended up being characterized as a "superspreader" event due to the number of infections that traced back to it.
This year's rally drew an estimated 500,000 people during a time when the more highly contagious Delta variant was already causing a surge in case numbers nationwide. The Delta variant has been causing "breakthrough" infections even in some fully vaccinated individuals.
Billy Bob's website has been updating a page concerning the venue's COVID-19 safety procedures as rules have changed in Texas. The most recent update from Aug. 20 states, "We do NOT require proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test for entry into Billy Bob’s Texas. Masks are optional. We do still ask that guests make good choices, wash their hands, and stay home if they aren’t feeling well."
Kid Rock's official tour calendar lists his next concert date as Sept. 18, when he's scheduled to perform at another motorcycle festival in Ocean City, Mary.