There are some things in life that are way too important to miss, even if you have to upset thousands of fans in the process. This is the case for country star Eric Church, who had a tough decision to make regarding his upcoming concert in San Antonio on Saturday night. It just so happens to be the same night that his beloved North Carolina Tar Heels are playing Duke in the Final Four in New Orleans.
So, after thinking about it, Church decided to cancel the concert and head to New Orleans for the highly anticipated game. This isn’t just any game, it’s the semifinals pitting two heated rivals in what could also be Coach K’s last game. It’s also the first time these two teams have met in the NCAA Tournament. The hatred that both fanbases have for each other will only make this matchup even crazier, and thousands of fans are flocking to Bourbon Street for the experience.
— Ross Martin (@RossMartin_IC) March 28, 2022
It just so happens that one of those fans is now ditching out on playing a highly anticipated arena show in front of thousands of fans who have paid a good amount of money to see him live. He shared a message to his dedicated fans, known as ‘the Church Choir,’ detailing his decision to cancel the concert in favor of watching his team play in the semifinals.
“To the Church Choir,” Eric Church’s statement to his fans reads. “This Saturday, my family and I are going to stand together to cheer on the Tar Heels as the team has made it to the Final Four.
“As a lifelong Carolina basketball fan, I’ve watched Carolina and Duke battle over the years but to have them matchup in the Final Four for the first time in the history of the NCAA Tournament is any sports enthusiast’s dream.
“This is also the most selfish thing I’ve ever asked the Choir to do: give up your Saturday night plans with us so that I can have this moment with my family and sports community. However, it’s that same type of passion felt by the people who fill the seats at our concerts that makes us want to be part of a crowd at a game of this significance.
“Woody Durham always said, ‘Go where you go and do what you do,’ thanks for letting me go here and be with the Tar Heels.”
The decision to cancel the show less than four days before the concert was set to happen has definitely upset some folks who have spent money on hotels, flights, tickets and more, and that money may be hard to get back if they don’t have some sort of trip insurance. I don’t know if “performer had to cancel because of the NCAA Tournament” is on the list for refunds for some of the expenditures, so fans took to Twitter to voice their displeasure.
@ericchurch Just received your notice to why Sat concert cancelled. My wife and I flew from Alberta, Canada to Texas today to see the show for her birthday. With that in mind, imagine how your North Carolina basketball excuse reads to us! We’re in shock you’d be this selfish.
— GJN (@Commish_) March 29, 2022
— kristina phantom (@olivehurricanes) March 30, 2022
Some people understand, but others, as you can see, do not.
I am not going to act like I am some multimillionaire who has sold out arenas all over the country and put on 4 1/2 hour shows to the delight of fans, but as a fellow sports fan, I can see where the guy is coming from. When will he ever get the opportunity to see this type of matchup again? The excitement for this game for both schools, separated by only a seven mile drive, is through the roof.
If Eric Church felt comfortable enough to cancel a gig and take the heat from fans who planned to travel to San Antonio to see him play, then that’s something ticket holders will have to live with. He has the right to do what he wants, just like ticket holders have the right to be upset at the decision.
There are a lot of things I would do if my favorite team made it to a game of this magnitude, especially if I were super rich and could afford to tell over 17,000 people that I don’t need their money. I would imagine Church will make it up to the fans, though some might not accept his apology.
Either way, it’s a once in a lifetime event, so don’t act like you wouldn’t think twice about it if you were in his shoes.
We’ve seen artists cancel concerts for life events before, but there is a big difference with this one: Eric Church actually told people the truth for why he canceled his gig. There are others who can’t say the same.
Rock on, Church, enjoy the hell out of the Final Four.
Follow Trey Wallace on Twitter: @TreyWallace_