The Zac Brown Band has been forced to let go of 90 percent of its touring staff after the postponement of the spring leg of the band’s The Owl Tour.
ZBB frontman Zac Brown took to Instagram late Wednesday to share the unfortunate news and urged his followers to take COVID-19 seriously.
“It was a hard day today for the last 15 years, my crew and who I carried with me out on the road to play my shows and do what we do, I’ve had to let go of about 90% of my family, the people that I traveled with and grew my business with, the people I high five on the way out to the stage the people that have done their jobs and done them well,” Brown shared in the video. “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.”
He then shared a direct message to fans and the American public. Holding nothing back, Brown said he believes Americans need to “wake up” and stop waiting on the government to make the calls.
“I got this message that I want to say to the people that aren’t taking this seriously and 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 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 everyone’s going to be out of jobs, the longer that we will be pushed into this recession that we’re all about to enter into,” he explained. “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. America can heal from this, America can come together, we can celebrate with music, we can celebrate with song, we can celebrate on video chat, but the sooner that we take action on this and we don’t wait on our government to tell us that this was a serious issue and that should be, you know, we are late to the game.”
Taking it a step further, Brown shared his thoughts on how the government is handling the coronavirus outbreak.
“I’m pretty ashamed of the way that our leadership handled all of this, I’m pretty ashamed of a lot of things. We can’t rely on our government to tell our people what they need to do. You can read between the lines, you can read all of the articles that are happening everywhere around the world and we are 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 of all of our jobs and for the economy and for each other, so I love to spread music and spread love in song and share music with the world. I’m going to do my best to do that from closed doors but if we’re going to heal from this and we we’re going to get back to doing what were doing before this hit, then everyone’s got to take this seriously.”
Zac Brown’s manager, Scooter Braun, shared the video to his Instagram as well and applauded Brown for speaking out.
“Beyond proud of Zac for using his voice and so sorry for him for the action he had to take,” Braun wrote. “We are better than this. Take it seriously and let’s come together.”
The coronavirus outbreak has put a halt on the live music industry, forcing postponements of concert tours, festivals and award shows.