After declaring in a video posted on social media Wednesday (Oct. 7) afternoon that he was taking a break to “work on me,” Morgan Wallen has dropped out of the Rome (Ga.) River Jam, which he was headlining Friday (Oct. 9).
While today’s attention has been focused on Wallen saying that he was disinvited to perform on Saturday Night Live this weekend after videos surfaced of the country star partying and mingling with fans without wearing a mask or practicing social distancing while attending the University of Alabama football game on Oct. 3, before he hit the SNL stage, he was slated to play the two-night Georgia festival the night before.
“My actions this past weekend were pretty short-sighted and they have obviously affected my long-term goals and my dreams,” he said in the emotional video, adding that he had not tested positive for COVID-19
The festival, which allows fans to gather in their own socially-distanced, open-air pods under heavy safety guidelines, is the largest non-drive in event planned so far for country fans since the COVID-19 pandemic caused a shut down of the concert industry in March.
Tonight, several hours after Wallen’s video, the Rome River Jam updated its Instagram to present a new lineup for Friday night, now featuring Lee Brice as the headliner and with Travis Denning also added to the bill featuring Hardy and Ashland Craft. It is unclear if the event will offer refunds to any patrons following Wallen’s cancellation.
The event had already sold more than 5,000 tickets for seating in the more than 800 pods each night. For safety reasons, fans had to buy tickets to both nights. Riley Green headlines Saturday’s (Oct. 10) slate.
Peachtree Entertainment, which is staging both the Rome RiverJam and the newly announced Charleston (S.C.) Country Fest, has not altered its lineup for the latter Oct. 30-31 festival, which Wallen is still slated to headline on Oct. 30.
However, Wallen made it clear in the video that he intends to step back for an undetermined amount of time. “I think I have some growing up to do. I think I’ve lost myself a bit. I’ve tried to find joy in the wrong places…and it’s left me with less joy so I’m going to try to work on that,” he said. “I’m going to take a step back from the spotlight for awhile and go work on myself…It may be a second before you heard from me for awhile… I’m going to work on me.”