veteran hard rockers GREAT WHITE apologize for the conditions at their show last Thursday night (July 9) in Dickinson, North Dakota. Video footage from the outdoor concert – which was part of the city “First On First: Dickinson Summer Nights” the series – showed that there were no safety restrictions at the event, with participants standing shoulder to shoulder and not a single person wearing a mask.
Earlier tonight, GREAT WHITE released the following statement BLABBERMOUTH.NET via the band̵
“We understand that some people are upset that we performed this show during this trying time. We assure you that we worked with the promoter. The North Dakota government recommends wearing masks, but we are not in a position to enforce the laws.
“We have had the luxury in retrospect and we would like to apologize to those who do not agree with our decision to fulfill our contract agreement.
“The organizer and staff were just professional and assured us of the security measures.
“Our intention was simply to make our gambling, outside, in a welcoming, small town.
“We appreciate the health and safety of each of our fans, as well as our American and global community.
“We are far from perfect.”
While many events have imposed restrictions, such as wearing masks and social distance, “First at first” have no such rules in place.
“We have no limitations, believe it or not, we have none,” April Getz, an event coordinator for Odd Fellows, who organizes, runs and provides funding for the events, told The Dickinson Press. “It’s one of those things where people feel comfortable coming down and mixing and mingling, it’s their personal choice. We leave it to everyone who chooses to participate.”
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 so far have recovered from the virus.
On average, about 3,700 tests are conducted daily in North Dakota, where the degree of positivity has been relatively low. 4,327 tests were conducted on Friday, giving a 2% positive.
North Dakota’s pandemic high number of active cases came May 21, when 670 residents were infected.
Earlier this month was founded 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: “How it works if I just wear [my mask], I’m not so sure. If you put on too, I’m 70 percent sure as opposed to being zero-something [safe]. It’s amazing how much it changes. It’s like you don’t want to help yourself, help everyone else. “That’s my right. It’s my human right.” Well, you have to pay for your car to be smuggled, you have to have a seat belt, you have a driver’s license, you have to have a birth certificate, 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 based GREAT WHITE 1982. Both musicians were present at the 2003 exhibition on Rhode Island where a fire caused by a pyrotechnic display claimed 100 lives. At the event, the group was called JACK RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE. Kendall said he was asked to join Russell and his solo band on the tour to increase participation. Kendall later explained that the name GREAT WHITE appeared on the marquee outside The Station nightclub because the owner of the venue wanted to “sell more tickets.”
Photo Credit: Neil Zlozower