SHINEDOWN's BRENT SMITH On COVID-19's Impact On Touring: 'Right Now, Our Biggest Concern Is Our Crew'

SHINEDOWN's BRENT SMITH On COVID-19's Impact On Touring: 'Right Now, Our Biggest Concern Is Our Crew'

SHINEDOWN singer Brent Smith has told Forbes in a new interview that he is worried about the sound engineers, lighting technicians and other gig-to-gig employees who have had their lives thrown into turmoil after the coronavirus pandemic shut down the concert industry.

"Right now, our biggest concern is our crew," he said. "These men and women are the people that allow us to put the show that we put together on each and every night and we're doing everything in our power right now to take care of them. Some people are on retainers, and have been for a few years, and some people are not. So we have to make sure that they're taken care of right now.

"When we do the larger shows and we're doing arenas or bigger festivals, or we're on certain cycles where we're doing outdoor amphitheatres — crowds of 10,000 plus — we will have an operation crew running bare minimum about 25 people. Then you start to look at all of the other elements," explained the vocalist. "I'll give you an example because I know these actual numbers. Last summer we took our good friends BADFLOWER out and two bands from the U.K. — DINOSAUR PILE-UP and BROKEN HANDS. And that entire tour housed about 112 people with all of the bands, buses and trucks combined for all four bands. And then when you count the local staff of each one of those venues each day, you're talking in upwards of about 260 people a day who are making those shows run.

"The entertainment industry right now is not paralyzed but it's in a holding pattern," he added. "So whether it's bands or theater performers or all of these sporting events with elements of mass gatherings, that can't happen right now. So the best thing that we can do is what the professionals are asking us to do: stay six feet apart, quarantine when you can, listen to your state, your governor and your mayor and keep informed on what's going on. We will get over this and we will get through this and we will go back to putting on shows and playing sports. And people will feel comfortable to be around each other again. But is it going to happen overnight? Unfortunately, it's not."

Last month, SHINEDOWN announced the rescheduled dates for its "Deep Dive Tour", during which the band will play "b-sides, deep cuts, plus the singles you know and love." Originally slated to take place in April and May, the trek was postponed due to the global coronavirus pandemic, and is now slated to take place this summer.

Also in March, SHINEDOWN reached into its vault to make available a never-before-heard song called "Atlas Falls". The track will benefit Direct Relief, a non-profit humanitarian aid organization that is currently working to provide personal protective equipment and essential medical items, including protective masks, exam gloves and isolation gowns, to U.S. and international health workers responding to coronavirus (COVID-19).

SHINEDOWN has spent much of the last two years touring in support of its latest album, "Attention Attention", which came out in 2018.


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