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He played in Utah. But now Garth Brooks has canceled his massive tour (for now)

‘In July, I sincerely thought the pandemic was falling behind us,’ Brooks said. ‘Now, watching this new wave, I realize we are still in the fight and I must do my part’

Country music superstar Garth Brooks performs at Rice-Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
Country music superstar Garth Brooks performs at Rice-Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Saturday, July 17, 2021. Brooks has canceled the five remaining dates on his 2021 stadium tour due to rising COVID-19 cases.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

After some deliberation — and just a few days after playing a sold-out show in Lincoln, Nebraska — Garth Brooks has canceled his 2021 stadium tour, Variety reported.

“In July, I sincerely thought the pandemic was falling behind us,” Brooks said in a statement. according to Variety. “Now, watching this new wave, I realize we are still in the fight and I must do my part.”

Earlier this month, Brooks said he would be reassessing the tour after his August shows, the Deseret News reported. At that time, he had already halted ticket sales for his show in Seattle on Sept. 4.

Now, the country superstar has officially made the decision to cancel the next five stadium shows on his tour this year, according to the singer’s website. Ticketmaster is issuing refunds for roughly 350,000 tickets for shows that were scheduled in Cincinnati, Ohio; Charlotte, North Carolina; Baltimore, Maryland; Foxborough, Massachusetts; and Nashville, Tennessee.

Brooks said he hopes to return to touring later this year and that his team will continue to closely follow the spread of COVID-19 and how schools and other entertainment venues handle this time during the pandemic.

“With a hopeful heart, we will reschedule and start over when this wave seems to be behind us,” Brooks said in a statement shared on his website.

“The joy I have seen in everyone’s faces as live music returns has been more than worth our constant diligence to maintain safety protocols not only for the fans, but for our band, the crew and the hard working staff in these stadiums,” he continued. “Their dedication to safety for the people who fill those seats has been a miracle to watch and a blessing to receive. I am truly grateful.”

Garth Brooks’ stadium concert in Utah

Before the cancellation, Brooks played in five cities on his stadium tour — including a sold-out stop at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on July 17.

That concert was reportedly Brooks’ fastest sellout, according to the Deseret News. And as he sprinted back and forth across the stage, playing to every section in the stadium, it was clear he was beyond excited to have resumed touring. He interacted with the 50,000-plus fans in attendance, playing a number of song requests from fans and smiling as they cheered and sang along.

After performing for 80 minutes straight, the singer then dropped a bombshell: Although he hadn’t yet talked to the venue, he announced that he would like to return to Rice-Eccles Stadium to play another show in the near future, the Deseret News reported.

His voice intensifying, Brooks proclaimed: “This tour ends in the summer of ’22. Before this stadium tour ends, I would like to come back here!”

Utah fans may now have to wait a little longer than anticipated for the return.