Kenny Chesney ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ About Touring in 2020

Kenny Chesney is currently scheduled to begin his Chillaxification Tour on May 30, but it remains to be seen whether that date will hold up due to the coronavirus, which has effectively halted the touring industry. In a new interview with the Tennessean, Chesney opened up about his touring plans, sharing that he was in the middle of rehearsals when the decision was made to press pause. "We were trying to build the circus and then had to shut it all down," he explained.

Chesney's tour was originally slated to begin in April but now has a planned start date of May 30 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. "I think we're cautiously optimistic — but like I said, cautiously — about playing music this year," the Tennessee native admitted. "But honestly, we play a lot of the venues that the NFL play. We're just kind of watching what happens with that, and we'll see." Chesney has been headlining NFL stadiums for a decade of his incredibly successful career and will continue to do so on the Chillaxification Tour. On Monday, the NFL moved its International Series games for the year back to the United States but is still planning to release its full schedule on Thursday.

On May 1, Chesney released his new album, Here and Now, which was originally supposed to land in fans' hands after the tour began. Now, the singer is promoting the project virtually, having hosted a "Virtual Happy Hour" with his fans, otherwise known as No Shoes Nation.

"It's such a unique time, and strange, and one of the things it's forced everyone to do, in an odd way, is reconnect, and connect better," Chesney said before praising those on the front lines of the pandemic. "This is biblical in nature, what's happening, and those people, what they're doing, they're laying their life on the line for us to get past this," he said. "It's just unbelievable. You can't help but be inspired."

The 52-year-old added that he hopes his album can connect with fans during this unprecedented time and offer them some happiness. "Anything that can occupy our brain and make us feel happy, I think that's what a lot of these songs do," he said. "A lot of them reminded me to try to live in the moment, live within these songs and be happy. That's what I think is the true thread of this record, and I feel like it's a good time for it to come out."