Get PolitiFact in your inbox.

Host Garth Brooks speaks at the 58th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Thursday, May 11, 2023, at the Ford Center in Frisco, Texas. (AP) Host Garth Brooks speaks at the 58th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Thursday, May 11, 2023, at the Ford Center in Frisco, Texas. (AP)

Host Garth Brooks speaks at the 58th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Thursday, May 11, 2023, at the Ford Center in Frisco, Texas. (AP)

Sofia Bliss-Carrascosa
By Sofia Bliss-Carrascosa June 30, 2023

Was Garth Brooks ghosted by Illinois fans over his pro-LGBTQ+ stance? No. That story is satirical.

If Your Time is short

  • This story originated on The Dunning-Kruger Times, a website that publishes what it describes as satirical articles.

Country music star Garth Brooks may sing about beer chasing his blues away, but did his support for Anheuser Busch chase hordes of his fans away?

That’s what one headline on a satirical website said. "Typically Sold-Out Garth Brooks Plays to a Half-Empty Arena: ‘It Was Embarrassing,’" read the Dunning-Kruger Times story published in late June.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller shared the story June 25 with his Facebook followers as though it were legitimate news, with the caption: "OMGosh! This is EPIC! America SPEAKS! WOW!" 

"Good! He deserves it," one commenter responded.

"Hopefully lesson learned," wrote another.


(Screengrab from Facebook)

This was not the only Dunning-Kruger Times article about Brooks that caught politicians’ attention. On June 25, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted a Dunning-Kruger article about Brooks allegedly being booed off a Texas stage, as if it were a real news story. Abbott appeared to realize his mistake and quickly deleted the tweet.

To people familiar with America’s Last Line of Defense, a network of sites known for producing content that is often shared as misinformation, the Dunning-Kruger Times url may have been tipoff enough that this was intended as parody.

On its About Us page, the website says, "Dunning-Kruger-Times.com is a subsidiary of the ‘America’s Last Line of Defense’ network of parody, satire, and tomfoolery, or as Snopes called it before they lost their war on satire: Junk News." At the bottom of every webpage, it describes itself as "Paid Liberal Trolls of America." 

A click on the link was another giveaway. 

Brooks, the piece said, played at "Geico Memorial Arena in Jostenberg, Illinois," and was considering canceling an upcoming date at "Haremfeather Norfolk Amphitheater in East Chicago."

Neither are real venues, as the story acknowledges: "Considering there’s a good chance that town doesn’t exist, will they miss me?" Brooks is quoted as saying.

The parody and fictionalized outrage refer to Anheuser-Busch’s partnership with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

Mulvaney is known for documenting her gender transition on TikTok, where she has nearly 11 million followers. In April, she announced a Bud Light contest on her Instagram account during the NCAA basketball tournament.

Bud Light has since faced calls for boycotts, including by singers Travis Tritt and Kid Rock. 

Brooks, meanwhile, is a longtime proponent of LGBTQ+ rights. In mid-June, he said that he planned to sell "every brand of beer" at a bar he is opening in Nashville, Tennessee.

Brooks’ hasn’t had a scheduled performance since he made that announcement. His remaining 2023 concerts are all in Las Vegas, where he's doing a residency at Caesars Palace.

Miller did not respond to PolitiFact’s requests for comment. But after PolitiFact reached out to his team June 29, Miller corrected the post, adding the line, "(This is a satirical post folks! Watch this come true, most Garth fans ain't woke!)"

The claim that Brooks recently played to a half-empty arena in Illinois was fabricated. We rate it Pants on Fire!

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Sofia Bliss-Carrascosa

Was Garth Brooks ghosted by Illinois fans over his pro-LGBTQ+ stance? No. That story is satirical.

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up