“Verzuz,” which was created as a result of outdoor and gathering restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, recently announced that it would no longer be allowing artists to be in the same room during the duration of the show. What started with two musicians meeting up on Instagram Live in separate locations to play a series of their top hits quickly grew into an all-out production, equipped with a stage set up and DJs, as the event grew in popularity.
However, early Friday morning, on Jan. 8, “Verzuz” announced across its social media platforms that its previous methods of gathering would be coming to an end as the pandemic continues to rage on. “This has been an emotional week. In addition, as COVID-19 numbers continue to increase, safety is a top priority for us,” the Twitter statement read. It continued, “As much as we enjoy having everyone together in the same room, to protect the artists and everyone who works with us in putting the shows together, we’ll be going back to separate locations for a bit.”
The statement concluded, stating, “We’re excited for the next few events, and look forward to getting back to the show in the coming weeks. ASHANTI VS KEYSHIA COLE: COMING SOON.”
Social media users let it be known that they were not happy and quickly took to the comments section to voice their grievances.
Fans were upset at the timing of the announcement. Ashanti and Keyshia Cole were scheduled to go head to head on Dec. 12, 2020, in the highly anticipated showdown of the 2000’s R&B princesses. However, when Ashanti contracted the COVID-19 virus, the event was then pushed to Jan. 9, 2020 — just one day after the statement was released. Many admitted that they were no longer interested in the battle because of many delays.
One Instagram user commented, “Don’t want it nomore & aint excited nomore y’all ruined it😒.”
Another person wrote, “Out of all the Verzuz is just had to be this one! The ones that most people were excited about!” They added, “@Verzuz when the time comes and there is a POSITIVE date set.. y’all are going to have to promote the hell out of this! Both @keyshiacole & @ashanti held down the 2000’s in R&B and deserve the proper promotion and setting for Verzuz! not any last-minute promotions or notices.”
Meanwhile onTwitter, one user scolded the brand and accused it of greed, which they felt ultimately led to the production hiccup. “Why did versuz ever have people in the same room?” they questioned. “Versuz was invented over the pandemic and was perfectly equipped to handle COVID. Then y’all got the great idea (greedy) to put people in the same room as the pandemic got worse. Came in and Broke something that wasn’t broken.”
The user later followed up with another tweet that read, “What? All to show some baby shower chairs and to sell ciroc.”
Another user followed up with similar views, writing, “The whole point of verzuz was to be socially distant in the first place! It was the answer to the pandemic, so for the pandemic to be the reason why this can’t go on is ludicrous.”