Surging coronavirus cases in Tuscaloosa cause concern about large concert crowds


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Thousands of Brad Paisley fans turned out Friday night for Tuscaloosa’s first concert of the summer season. It’s the first concert at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater since 2019 because of COVID-19.  

The venue has no coronavirus restrictions and wearing a face mask is not required.

Bar owner Brandon Hanks said he is glad to see concerts back again, and he thinks this is good for the economy.

“I think for downtown, this is great, to get things back to normal from what COVID did, and it’s great to have the amphitheater back up and running again. It makes a big scene for restaurants especially.”

Hanks said since the events are outdoors, the threat of spreading coronavirus shouldn’t be a concern.  

But Margaret Johnson disagrees. She wears her mask and is fully vaccinated, but worries that a large crowd of nearly 7,000 is dangerous.

“For myself I am nervous.  I won’t be attending, but I wish I could because we love Brad Paisley but even with us having vaccines I am concerned.”

The number of COVID-19 inpatient cases being treated at DCH is now at 30.

Nonetheless, Stacy Vaughn with the City of Tuscaloosa believes the concert fans will be safe in a large outdoor crowd.

“There are no restrictions at all. You do not have to wear a mask, and there is no social distancing required whatsoever, but if you want to wear a mask you are more than welcome to. We feel like we have a safe environment and opportunity to provide entertainment and live show, and it’s an outdoor venue.”

Stacy Vaughn tells CBS 42 the facility has been disinfected including all chairs and bathroom facilities to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.