NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In a summer of shattering his own attendance records, Kenny Chesney’s 2018 Trip Around the Sun Tour is the only country tour to land on Pollstar’s midyear survey of the year’s biggest tours. With ticket prices almost half to a third less than the other artists above him, the man the LA Times’ hails as “The People’s Superstar” joins Taylor Swift, the Rolling Stones, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, U2, Justin Timberlake, the Eagles and Pink in the Top 10.
“What we do isn’t just country,” says the man who’s also the only country act in Billboard’s Top 10 Touring Acts of the Last 25 Years, “it’s life. For the people who come every summer, whether they love rock or pop or whatever, they’re gonna feel the music, but they also know they’ve lived these songs. For me, it’s the artists who rock me, who make me feel something, whose music is part of my life that I go back to again and again, and that’s what I try to give the fans every single night we hit the stage.”
Starting with a no-holds-barred set at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium with 55,292 fans and running through last weekend’s 57, 528 who rocked at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium, the songwriter/superstar from East Tennessee has been breaking his own attendance records at almost every stadium this summer. With fan-friendly pricing, a high energy show and just enough people coming together to create a real community beyond just the concert experience, Chesney remains the “must” rite of summer for so many.
“Music is medicine, and it’s energy, and it’s fuel,” says the man who will play 19 stadiums this summer. “To me, when music is really firing, it can help you do impossible things, lift you out of unthinkable problems and give you a reason to keep going. I hope the fans who come get as much out of the shows as everyone in my road family gets out of the energy and love that No Shoes Nation throws at us every night.”
Having just scored his 30th No. 1 with ‘Get Along,’ a banjo-forward groove-driven song about seeking joy in what we have in common, Chesney also broke a Billboard record for Most No. 1s by a Country Act in their Country Airplay chart history – making it another trip around all the things that are possible when you let the music lead, work hard and connect with the fans.
Heading into St. Louis’ Busch Stadium this weekend, the 8-time Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year is gearing up for the release of his deeply personal homage to the Virgin Islands, Songs for the Saints. Begun as Hurricane Irma was pummeling the Caribbean islands where he’s made his home, the song cycle celebrates the spirit of the land, the people and the living that inspired so much of his music since the 5-times platinum No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems.
“I don’t do this for the awards or the competition. I do this to write my life and share it with others. When you realize how much you share, whether it’s ‘Get Along,’ or the way a show on a hot summer night makes you feel, that’s what all this is for: coming together. It’s why Songs for the Saints matters, because No Shoes Nation can live inside that world – and also with buying the record, knowing that money is helping rebuild those islands.”