Friday and Saturday evening, (7/28, 7/29), George Strait took the stage at Nissan Stadium in Nashville for some of the biggest shows he’s ever played in Music City. With Little Big Town and Chris Stapleton opening, King George brought the house down on Friday night, and then on Saturday, he made it rain, causing a weather delay that had the show being called off abruptly to never resume.
As fans arrived to Nissan Stadium on Saturday, they were met with a “shelter in place” warning due to lightning moving through the area. However, an “all clear” was sounded, and the show was able to start on time at 5:45 with Little Big Town taking the stage. Chris Stapleton was able to play his complete set as well.
George Strait ended up taking the stage at 9:00 pm, which was slightly earlier than he’d taken the stage on Friday to try and fit in as much music as possible before more impending storms. Strait was able to play for about an hour before rain started coming down and the show was called during Strait’s performance of “Amarillo By Morning.”
With both openers and Strait performing for an hour, Nissan Stadium stated that no refunds nor a reschedule for the show would be available. “This will conclude tonight’s show. Thank you for attending the George Strait, Chris Stapleton, Little Big Town show this evening at Nissan Stadium,” organizers tweeted out Saturday evening. On Friday, George Strait played for 2 1/2 hours, and performed 33 songs total.
This decision has infuriated numerous concertgoers who believe they deserve at least a partial refund for only receiving a partial show. As some have also pointed out, the storms moved through relatively quickly, and perhaps the show could have resumed afterwards, if only for a few more songs. Others said that since they knew the storms were coming, they could have cut the opening acts and allowed Strait to play his full set.
The George Strait shows at Nissan Stadium were “rain or shine” outdoor events. And though Little Big Town may not be as prominent as they once were, Chris Stapleton had to be a significant draw to the event as well. Stapleton is an arena-level act himself and the reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year. Cutting Stapleton’s set would have also resulted in angry fans.
One of the reason’s Strait’s abrupt ending is frustrating to many fans is due to the high price of tickets to see him in stadium shows. Since he’s retired from touring and only has six shows booked for the entirety of 2023, Strait’s Saturday night Nissan Stadium show was only one of a handful of opportunities to see him all year.
The shortened George Strait set comes as concert organizers continue to shorten the leash on when to allow performances to move forward due to liability concerns specifically tied to lightning strikes and other weather-related issues. Over 100 people were injured at Red Rocks earlier this year due to hail, causing concert organizers to be more cautious when severe weather moves through an area.
This is how the GOAT wraps up a concert when they’ve told him to leave the stage and end the concert immediately due to a thunderstorm. Incredible. pic.twitter.com/h4sG2wjuNC— Brad Lampley (@BALampley79) July 30, 2023