Florida Georgia Line Take After Dierks Bentley, Give All FGL House Employees $1,000 During Coronavirus Shutdown
Florida Georgia Line are doing what they can to help the staff at FGL House, their bar on Lower Broadway in Nashville, while the venue is shut down due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The country duo announced on Wednesday (March 18) that they are taking a page out of Dierks Bentley's book and will be giving each employee $1,000.
"FGL House would be nothing without our amazing staff," the band writes on Facebook. "We know it takes a village, and we’re so thankful for all 117 of you."
Nashville Mayor John Cooper ordered the closing of all bars along Lower Broadway and in surrounding Davidson County due to the spread of the coronavirus, leaving many in Nashville in the service industry out of work. Bentley announced his plan to help the employees at his bar, Whiskey Row, on Monday (March 16), after Mayor Cooper's order officially took effect.
Bentley and FGL's compliance with Mayor Cooper's order stands in stark contrast to that of Steve Smith, owner of Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, Kid Rock's Big Ass Honky Tonk Steakhouse and other businesses along Lower Broadway, who announced on Sunday (March 15) his intentions to defy the order and keep his establishments' doors open. On Monday, Smith reversed his decision in order to "protect public health."
According to the World Health Organization -- which declared the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11 -- over 197,000 cases of the disease and 7,905 deaths because of it have been reported globally as of March 17. In the United States, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 4,226 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 75 deaths as of March 17.
Within country music, artists are doing their part by either postponing or canceling both concerts and entire tours, while festival organizers are both rescheduling and canceling springtime events. Among others, the annual Stagecoach festival, usually held in April, will now take place in October, while Zac Brown Band have chosen to delay the remainder of their springtime tour dates. On Sunday, the Academy of Country Music announced the postponement of the 2020 ACM Awards.
A number of artists are performing virtual shows while fans are stuck at home and events are canceled or postponed. On Monday night (March 16), Keith Urban played a mini-live set from his warehouse, while Luke Combs offered a short set on Tuesday night (March 17).
Coronavirus Pandemic: What Country Music Events Are Postponed or Canceled (or Not)?