Country music star Zac Brown put out an emotional plea on Thursday announcing that he had to lay off 90 percent of his crew as a result of the Chinese coronavirus and urged young people to follow the advice to self-isolate.
The video was shared by Brown’s manager Scooter Braun, who wrote on his Instagram: “Beyond proud of Zac for using his voice and so sorry for him for the action he had to take. We are better than this. Take it seriously and let’s come together.”
In his video, Brown explained how the cancellation or postponement of most of his tour dates had required him to lay off the vast majority of his staff:
It’s a hard day today,” Brown says. “For the last 15 years, my crew and who I carry with me out on the road to do my shows and do what we do — I’ve had to let go of about 90 percent of my family, the people that I travel with and do my business with. The people I high-five ‘em way off to the side of the stage and the people who have done their jobs and done ‘em well. I hate having to make this call, but I can’t generate out there and I can’t tour because of the coronavirus and everyone’s safety.
I’ve got this message that I want to say to the people that aren’t taking this seriously, and the people who are out partying and the people that are sitting on beaches and the people that don’t care if they get this virus or take it home to their grandparents and maybe kill their grandparents or complicate their lives.
The longer that America doesn’t take this seriously and doesn’t stay in and try to contain this, the longer that everyone’s gonna be out of jobs; the longer that we’re gonna be pushed into this recession that we’re all about to enter into. The sickness has just begun here. 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 and stay inside. Because America can heal from this. America can come together.
On Thursday, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams pleaded with celebrity influencers such as Brown and more famous figures like Kylie Jenner and NBA star Kevin Durant to urge their millions of young followers to follow government warnings with regard to the coronavirus.
“We need to get our social media influencers out there and helping folks understand that, look, this is serious. This is absolutely serious. People are dying,” Dr. Adams said in an interview on Good Morning America. “But think about your grandmother, think about your grandfather, think about the fact you’re spreading a disease which could ultimately be what kills them.”
Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams on millennials and the coronavirus: “We need to get our social media influencers out there and helping folks understand that look this is serious.” https://t.co/M1e2wFmU6F pic.twitter.com/FNjZB12mKK
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 19, 2020
The Zac Brown’s Band is one of many artists forced to postpone or cancel their tours in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with Pentatonix, The Who, Dan + Shay and others all doing the same. Similarly, the concert promoter Live Nation has also postponed all domestic and international stadium tours until further notice.
Meanwhile, music festivals have also been canceled or delayed, with Coachella and Stagecoach delayed until the fall while South by Southwest (SXSW) and Glastonbury (UK) have been canceled entirely. Performance locations including Broadway, Carnegie Hall, and The Apollo have also closed there doors until further notice.