Travis Tritt doesn’t accept Eric Church’s cancellation excuse

If it hadn’t been for “the slap in the face,” the biggest story in all of entertainment last week would have been that Eric Church chose to cancel his sold-out show on Saturday, April 2 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio so he can watch the Duke Blue Devils take on his North Carolina Tar Heels in the NCAA Final Four. It was the first time in the history of the Final Four that the two teams faced each other, although they play each other every year.

Eric Church wrote a letter to his fans explaining that he wanted to live the unique moment with his family, and later booked a makeup show, albeit in a much smaller venue (still awaiting details on how this will work). The gamble paid off for Church in one respect. The North Carolina Tar Heels ended up winning. If they had lost, it could have led to even more doubts.

But public sentiment about it is still very mixed among many country music fans, and even some artists. Late Saturday night (4-2), the ever opinionated Travis Tritt stepped in, letting people know where he stood on the matter.

“FYI – Over the years I have missed weddings, funerals, family reunions of friends and family and a bunch of other events I wish I had attended because I was reserved for shows.” Tritt said. “I don’t think I could ever manage canceling a show because I wanted to watch sports.”

And Travis Tritt wasn’t alone in the artist class. Although Jason Aldean wasn’t quite so blunt, he recently said, “It’s a tricky question because Eric is a friend of mine. I’m a die-hard Georgia Bulldogs and Atlanta Braves fan, so I kind of understand where he’s coming from. I don’t know if I could cancel a show to go to a game. I feel like people are buying a ticket to see your show, you kind of have to live up to your end of the bargain on that. But I know Eric is a big fan of Carolina basketball. And I don’t want to dive into that too much, but I don’t think I’d feel good if I did that, so I don’t know if I could make it.

But some artists have come to the defense of Eric Church. North Carolina Companion BJ Barham of the American Aquarium noted, “Ever been called to work to take a personal day? Explain the difference. You let your employer down. You let down your colleagues. You have disappointed your customers. Really curious why straight work people have normalized their personal days, but a musician is being reviled for doing so.

What is certain is that this issue will be talked about for years to come and will be on Eric Church’s permanent record, brought up by his detractors every time his name comes up. Hopefully, however, this won’t lead to a new era of apologies for concert cancellations that are already more common after the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday (4-4), it was revealed that rapper Kanye West had dropped his performance slots at Coachella for undisclosed reasons, and it’s more than a week before the two-weekend festival is due to take place. Kanye was the main headliner of the event considered the flagship festival of popular music.

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