DICKINSON, N.D. — The rock band Great White has apologized after receiving criticism for playing an outdoor show Thursday, July 9, in Dickinson without coronavirus restrictions in place.
Online photos show the crowd not wearing face masks or practicing social distancing during the "First on First" concert series event.
The band's statement, released Saturday, July 11, to Blabbermouth.net, a website dedicated to heavy metal and hard rock news, 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."
April Getz, an event coordinator, said in an interview last month that "First on First" does not have any restrictions in place.
“It’s one of those things where if people feel comfortable coming down and mixing and mingling that’s their personal choice," she said. "We’re leaving it up to everybody that chooses to attend.”
Great White made national headlines in 2003 when a pyrotechnics fire during a performance at The Station nightclub in Rhode Island led to the deaths of 100 people, including guitarist Ty Longley.
Mitch Malloy, who grew up in Dickinson, was named the band's new singer in 2018.