Great White – the hard rock band best known for their involvement in The Station nightclub fire of 2003 – is being criticized for once again putting concert goers at risk by performing a show that had no social distancing constraints.
The band, famous for hits “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” and “Rock Me,” was the headliner of a small-town concert series “First on First: Dickinson Summer Nights” in North Dakota last week. Fans were reportedly crowded together without any coronavirus safety measures in place and attendees were not required to wear masks by the event promoter.
North Dakota has one of the lowest coronavirus infection rates in the country, with less than five thousand cases and fewer than 100 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. The state is currently operating at a low risk level for infection and has no official mask mandates, which allowed event organizers to leave social distancing up to the discretion of the attendees.
Great White released a statement acknowledging people are upset that they “performed this show, during this trying time.” They went on to say that, “Our intent was simply to perform our gig, outside, in a welcoming small town.”
The band has previously made headlines over the lack of safety at one of their concerts, when stage pyrotechnics caused a Rhode Island nightclub fire. The blaze spread quickly, triggering a human stampede that caused 230 injuries and 98 deaths, including Great White’s guitarist Ty Longley. The band’s tour manager, the person responsible for setting off the pyrotechnics, and the nightclub’s owners, who were operating over capacity, received prison time for the tragedy.