GREAT WHITE Apologizes For North Dakota Concert: ‘We Are Not In A Position To Enforce The Laws’

Veteran hard rockers GREAT WHITE have apologized for the
conditions at their show this past Thursday night (July 9) in
Dickinson, North Dakota. Video footage of the outdoor concert —
which was part of the town’s “First On First: Dickinson Summer
Nights”
series — showed there were no safety restrictions at
the event, with attendees standing shoulder to shoulder and not a
single person wearing a mask. Earlier tonight, GREAT WHITE
released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET via the
band’s publicist: “GREAT WHITE would like to address our
Thursday, July 9, at First On First Dickinson Summer Nights concert
in North Dakota. “We understand that there are some people who are
upset that we performed this show, during this trying time. We
assure you that we worked with the Promoter. North Dakota’s
government recommends masks be worn, however, we are not in a
position to enforce the laws. “We have had the luxury of hindsight
and we would like to apologize to those who disagree with our
decision to fulfill our contractual agreement. “The Promoter and
staff were nothing but professional and assured us of the safety
precautions. “Our intent was simply to perform our gig, outside, in
a welcoming, small town. “We value the health and safety of each
and every one of our fans, as well as our American and global
community. “We are far from perfect.” While numerous events have
been imposing restrictions, such as wearing masks and social
distancing, “First On First” has no such rules in place. “We
do not have restrictions, believe it or not, we don’t have any,”
April Getz, an event coordinator for Odd Fellows, which
organizes, runs and comes up with the funding for the events, told

The Dickinson Press
. “It’s one of those things where if people
feel comfortable coming down and mixing and mingling, that’s their
personal choice. We’re leaving it up to everybody that chooses to
attend.” As of Saturday (July 11), there have been a total of 4,243
confirmed coronavirus cases in North Dakota. A total of 87 people
have died so far in the state as a result of COVID-19. 83 percent
of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in North Dakota to
date have recovered from the virus. An average of around 3,700
tests are being conducted daily in North Dakota, where the
positivity rate has remained relatively low. 4,327 tests were
conducted Friday, yielding a 2% positivity rate. North Dakota’s
pandemic-high number of active cases came May 21, when 670
residents were infected. Earlier in the month, founding GREAT
WHITE
singer Jack Russell — who is no longer in the
group and who was not at the North Dakota concert — blasted
people who refuse to wear a mask in public spaces to protect others
from possible infection. He said: “The way it works out, if I just
wear [my mask], I’m not that safe. If you put yours on too, I’m 70
percent safe as opposed to being zero-point-something [safe]. It’s
amazing the amount that it changes. It’s, like, if you don’t wanna
help yourself, help everybody else. ‘Well, it’s my right. It’s my
human right.’ Well, look, dude, you’ve gotta pay for your car to
get smogged, you’ve gotta have a seat belt, you have a driver’s
license, you have to have a license to be born, you have to have a
marriage license. I mean, so you have to wear a mask for a while so
you don’t die. What’s the problem?” Russell and guitarist
Mark Kendall founded GREAT WHITE in 1982. Both
musicians were present at the 2003 show in Rhode Island where a
fire caused by a pyrotechnic display claimed 100 lives. At the time
of the incident, the group that was on the road was called JACK
RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE
. Kendall said he was asked to join
Russell and his solo band on the tour to help boost
attendance. Kendall later explained that the name GREAT
WHITE
was displayed on the marquee outside The Station
nightclub because the owner of the venue wanted to “sell more
tickets.” Photo credit: Neil Zlozower

Veteran hard rockers GREAT WHITE have apologized for the
conditions at their show this past Thursday night (July 9) in
Dickinson, North Dakota. Video footage of the outdoor concert —
which was part of the town’s “First On First: Dickinson Summer
Nights” series — showed there were no safety restrictions at
the event, with attendees standing shoulder to shoulder and not a
single person wearing a mask. Earlier tonight, GREAT WHITE
released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET via the
band’s publicist: “GREAT WHITE would like to address our
Thursday, July 9, at First On First Dickinson Summer Nights concert
in North Dakota. “We understand that there are some people who are
upset that we performed this show, during this trying time. We
assure you that we worked with the Promoter. North Dakota’s
government recommends masks be worn, however, we are not in a
position to enforce the laws. “We have had the luxury of hindsight
and we would like to apologize to those who disagree with our
decision to fulfill our contractual agreement. “The Promoter and
staff were nothing but professional and assured us of the safety
precautions. “Our intent was simply to perform our gig, outside, in
a welcoming, small town. “We value the health and safety of each
and every one of our fans, as well as our American and global
community. “We are far from perfect.” While numerous events have
been imposing restrictions, such as wearing masks and social
distancing, “First On First” has no such rules in place. “We
do not have restrictions, believe it or not, we don’t have any,”
April Getz, an event coordinator for Odd Fellows, which
organizes, runs and comes up with the funding for the events, told

The Dickinson Press. “It’s one of those things where if people
feel comfortable coming down and mixing and mingling, that’s their
personal choice. We’re leaving it up to everybody that chooses to
attend.” As of Saturday (July 11), there have been a total of 4,243
confirmed coronavirus cases in North Dakota. A total of 87 people
have died so far in the state as a result of COVID-19. 83 percent
of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in North Dakota to
date have recovered from the virus. An average of around 3,700
tests are being conducted daily in North Dakota, where the
positivity rate has remained relatively low. 4,327 tests were
conducted Friday, yielding a 2% positivity rate. North Dakota’s
pandemic-high number of active cases came May 21, when 670
residents were infected. Earlier in the month, founding GREAT
WHITE singer Jack Russell — who is no longer in the
group and who was not at the North Dakota concert — blasted
people who refuse to wear a mask in public spaces to protect others
from possible infection. He said: “The way it works out, if I just
wear [my mask], I’m not that safe. If you put yours on too, I’m 70
percent safe as opposed to being zero-point-something [safe]. It’s
amazing the amount that it changes. It’s, like, if you don’t wanna
help yourself, help everybody else. ‘Well, it’s my right. It’s my
human right.’ Well, look, dude, you’ve gotta pay for your car to
get smogged, you’ve gotta have a seat belt, you have a driver’s
license, you have to have a license to be born, you have to have a
marriage license. I mean, so you have to wear a mask for a while so
you don’t die. What’s the problem?” Russell and guitarist
Mark Kendall founded GREAT WHITE in 1982. Both
musicians were present at the 2003 show in Rhode Island where a
fire caused by a pyrotechnic display claimed 100 lives. At the time
of the incident, the group that was on the road was called JACK
RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE. Kendall said he was asked to join
Russell and his solo band on the tour to help boost
attendance. Kendall later explained that the name GREAT
WHITE was displayed on the marquee outside The Station
nightclub because the owner of the venue wanted to “sell more
tickets.” Photo credit: Neil Zlozower

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