As the coronavirus concern continues to increase in the United States and beyond, Kenny Chesney is the latest country artist to postpone part of his tour. Chesney just announced that he will delay the initial dates of his Chillaxification Tour, scheduled to begin on April 18, through at least May 28. The postponement affects seven stadium and four amphitheater dates so far, although Chesney says he will continue monitoring the situation.
"You can't take risks without really understanding the consequences," Chesney said in a statement. "In times of uncertainty, I won't take chances with those I love. I can't imagine, as much as we love being out there playing for the fans, being able to do that through the worry our nation is experiencing.
"So, while we wait to see how this terrible virus is going to impact our country, I think it's only fair to move these first several dates now," he continued. "We are figuring some of this out as we go, but I know people buy airline tickets, book hotel rooms – and I wanted to try to give everyone as much time to sort that out as possible."
The Tennessee native is understandably heartbroken over the decision, as he knows his fans are, but believes this is in the best interest of everyone.
"This is all uncharted," Chesney admitted. "I'm like everyone else: watching the news, wondering when we may know something concrete, not sure how this gets transmitted, worried someone I know will catch it. I want to believe this will all be okay in the end; but right now, I don't feel like this risk to No Shoes Nation is worth it. Nobody wants to get out there for these shows more than I do. We've started rehearsals; everything is loaded in –– and the band sounds great. Music is medicine when your soul or your heart need healing, but I don't want my music to put anyone at risk.
"So, I promise: we are going to work as quickly as we can to sort out what we can and can't do in terms of these dates," he continued. "We're going to cross our fingers this pandemic will resolve as some of the experts have suggested, and we hope to kick off the tour May 30th at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, a venue we've played since 2005. But mostly, I hope this virus is contained, and the suffering and deaths are kept to the fewest possible people."
Other country acts who have postponed or rescheduled tour dates to the coronavirus include Dan + Shay, Chris Stapleton, and the Zac Brown Band. Florida Georgia Line and Old Dominion are joining Chesney on the road. Updates are already posted on Chesney's website.
Photo Credit: Getty / Boston Globe