No Tour Next Year for Kenny Chesney

posted September 15th, 2009 at 5:42 pm

by Josh Martn

In a letter to fans sent out today, Kenny Chesney says that he’s not going to do his usual big tour next year. He’ll put out an album in April and do a few gigs here and there, but no “great big rock & roll tour”:

It has been an amazing summer… and I can’t believe it’s almost over. So much has happened – whether it was watching all of you hang in there with us during that horrible storm in Dallas, and coming back the next week to finish what we started, having Key West close down Duval Street for our Keg in the Closet at Sloppy Joe’s, the almost too intense to describe stadium shows in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, Columbus, San Francisco, Louisville, Seattle, kicking off No Shoes Radio live in Orange Beach, Alabama with everybody going out all over the world via the internet – and sitting here on my bus, it kind
of leaves me speechless.

You know, every year, I think it can’t get any better.

Every year, you guys bring a real passion for this music and enjoy the night with us. Me and the guys talk about that more than you’d ever guess: how great the audiences are, the way you sound singing our songs back to us, the smiles we see from the stage.

Because we see you. We REALLY see you… And none of that is taken lightly.

You guys are the best fans any entertainer could hope to have, You rock us, push us and make us better. I sometimes think you guys truly drive and inspire us to be the most we can.

And that’s just it. You guys deserve the absolutely best and most.

I start working on our next year’s tour almost a year before. It’s about what more, how can, where do… and in all of that, you can find yourself so lost in beating the year before that you miss the moments that make what we – you, me, the band and crew – so special.

Since we hit the road as headliners with the palm trees lit by a full moon in West Palm Beach, Florida in 2002, you guys have been there and been there and been there. And after eight years, it’s time for a little break… to exhale, to think about what next, to create something that’s truly different.

That all takes time. It should never be fit in amongst everything else.

I’ve said we’re like a baseball team: six months on, six months off. But honestly, we work straight through: both on making the music and creating the shows. With a record coming next April and a couple other projects that we’ll be telling you about soon, you’re gonna have more than plenty of me next year – but what you won’t have is a great big rock & roll tour.

Will I show up here and there? Absolutely. But I want to take that moment to really think about what next, to make my record and really get inside it, to create a show that’s something else… because you deserve no less.

It’s why I’m writing this letter…

It’s why I’m willing to have a summer where I don’t get to hear your cheers, hit the parking lot on stadium Saturdays, to listen to you sing these songs that are so much a part of my life back to me.

I’m gonna hate it and miss it, but I know when I hit the stage again, it’s gonna be even better, even more. Because I know you guys. You’re as good as they get, and we’re gonna get even better during the time we’re taking off…

So, this isn’t good-bye, it’s just we’re taking a break. And you’re still gonna see me… way more than you’d probably expect. But I always want you to hear it from me… that way it’s not rumors and speculation, it’s the real of how it is. And right now, the real is: I can’t wait to hit the stage in Bloomington, Illinois and Indianapolis this weekend – and I can’t wait for you to hear the new music.

Until then, I remain your biggest fan in the whole world. Absolutely.

– Kenny

Entertainment Weekly has more in an interview with Chesney:

Entertainment Weekly: So you’re quitting, eh?

Kenny Chesney: I’m not quitting! I’m not quitting. It’s just a short pause. It would be easy to keep doing it, because it’s fun, and the fans are unbelievable. But I don’t know — then you realize that at some point you’re missing a part of your life. My life has been a lot about parking lots. I need to recharge creatively, and get off the clock of having to be somewhere just because, and having to keep juggling all these things. And people needing answers. I just felt like this year it finally hit me that I need to get reconnected with my family. I wanna do some things that I’ve never gotten to do, like see other parts of the world, write some more songs. Do some shows that are completely different for me. I might wanna go do an acoustic show at Red Rocks or something. Something to feed my soul. I’ve given a big part of my soul for this for so long, and nothing has really been filling that up. It seems like in the last couple of years, I’ve been on an empty tank. And that’s gotta change.

Was there a precipitating incident this summer that really put it over the top for you?

Not really. It’s just something that’s been building. I think I’m really blessed to have a run like we’ve had. I don’t take it for granted. You realize what it means for the fans to be there, too. I don’t take that lightly. As a performer you don’t want to let go of that connection, but you also know as an artist you want to give them even more. And I realized this year that means just taking a deep breath, cause I want to give them more later on, too. I’ve thought about this a lot. To me, Bruce Springsteen has pretty much defined the live communion with the audience. He has defined the passion and the connection to the fans. And one night when we were playing in New Jersey, Bruce sat on my bus with me and we talked for a couple hours, and he told me something that hit me really hard, and it’s stuck with me ever since. He said, “Kenny, you can write half a song on a piece of paper, and you can put that piece of paper away in a drawer for five years, and you can go back to it, and that song will still be there. But life isn’t like that. And whatever you’re doing, don’t miss your life, too.” And I thought about that all year. I’ve been giving to one thing for so long that I just realized that had to change.

Read the full interview here for more insight into Kenny’s decision.

Share your thoughts on this announcement on our forum.

Tagged in Personal, Tour

  • dana

    I really had a feeling this was coming ever since the Chicago show early this summer. I LOVE KENNY, but to me this summer, the show seemed “just like every other”, and something unusal happened to me, I WAS READY FOR A SUMMER OFF. A summer with no Kenny?? None of my friends could believe I was saying that…lol…But like I told them, the show was awesome, (its always awesome!) but it just seemed so choreographed :( Which told me, that Mr. Chesney was getting tired…my god, he’s 41! No matter who you are, age catches up with you :)

    I would SO LOVE to see the kind of show that he’s talking about doing, something alot more intimate ;) Kenny, a guitar, and a stool …

    So, take some time off Kenny…enjoy life, and enjoy your fame! And although our summer won’t be quiet the same without you…I so know we’ll hear from you..and I know that you are surely gonna miss us as much as we are gonna miss you ;)


  • Gage Angle

    Im going to miss his shows even if it is just for a year. He has had a major impact on my way of life and the things ive done. He deserves some time off to cool his heels. With him taking a year off it will build up the anticipation for the next tour.I wish you the best Kenny and i hope i see you sooner then later.

    Gage Angle
    Hilton Head Island,SC

  • sosilly

    WOW!!! I wonder since he is taking 2010 off touring, will he blow this yr out of the water and win the CMA Entertainer which will make him the ONLY artist ever to get 5 in a row!!
    I have always told people an acoustic tour of some small venues would be cool.
    I will say I was surprised he decided next summer but good for him.
    He wrote a very eloquent letter and it truly shows how much the fans mean to him and the guys.


    I am going to miss him very much, my summer won’t be the same .

  • vicki weber

    Kenny Chesney,I want you to know that i am going to miss you when you are taking a year off.And i know that you need a good break to do what you want to do with your life.I am going to miss you alot but you will never be forgotten.You will forever be in my heart and in my memories.I did get to see
    you in concert 1 time only when you came to the Bell County Exbo Center back in 2001 along with phil vassar in Belton,Texas.And i did write you alot of times to let you know about me being on this unknown beach in my sleep 12 years ago and me and you met up in my sleep that turned into a date on this beach.This dream i will never forget.I will always love you,and your music.Enjoy your year off.I hope you get a fresh start in 2011.

  • peter

    kenny i knew this was coming but i reallly didnt wanna see it… i respect everything u have done.. u do need a break for sure you have worked your tail off and i respect that thanks man for evertthing thing i saw u in chicago in the sand bar and ill see u in indy in the sandbar…

  • ashley

    kenny im gonna really miss u so much i will always be a fan forever ilu so much and its not gonna be the same with out u

  • Cynthia-Asheville, NC

    Honestly, I kind of felt like this was coming. We saw Kenny in Greenvile, SC in May this year and his energy was just as it usually is. But we also saw him in Seattle, WA in Aug. and this was our first “stadium” show. And it felt different. He just looked really tired. I felt so bad for him. Every summer we see him, he gives his absoulte best for all for us, and just when we think it cant get any better, he blows our minds again! :) So, I am glad to hear that he is taking time off for himself. He is one artist that absolutley deserves some R and R. I have listened to kenny since the Tin Man and he has worked really hard to get where he is and I think that him taking one year off is going to be good for him. And he did say he was doing this for us too! He always seems to be thinking of us, so now its time he thinks and does for himself. And just imagine what kind of show we have to look forward to in 2011?? I am already excited!! So, Kenny, get some rest and spend some time with your family… and we will all be here waiting for you when you get back!! But, next summer just isnt gonna feel like Summer without ya!! :D

  • BJ

    I certainly believe you deserve to take a break Kenny, we will MISS you terribly, but your dedicated fans will be here waiting for you when you return. And we will definitely be looking for you all along the way this coming year. You will always be in our hearts, on our minds, and in our EARS until your return to the tour schedule. God Bless You and keep you safe until we see ya again.

  • nick

    enjoy your time kenny.

  • Marion

    Kenny, You are the one! It will not be the same next year with out a concert……… I love your everything and everything about you. I feel like I know you, like you are my best friend. I hope you have found the love of your life, and you take this next year and enjoy her and have a wonderful 2010. Will miss your energy, your smile, and your sweet voice. Be safe and be loved. Marion in Kingman, AZ on Route 66

  • Big Shoe

    Kenny, I seen in concert 8 times since 2004. You are by far the best entertainment business. No one can beat you. I saw you in Indy on Sept 19th and the show was awesome. You were very emotional on stage. Everybody in the audience was with you from start to finish. After the concert, I spoke to many people about you touring in 2010. Many people think that something is going on with yourself that you are not telling your great fans. Some people think you are sick and have cancer. For your sake, I hope that is not true. You are an inspiration to everyone. You really made Zac Brown’s night. He could not believe that he was sharing the stage with Kenny Chesney and others. How awesome is that! Rock on Kenny. Come back in 2011 with a fresh kick ass attitude. Good Luck!

  • Beth

    Since you won’t be on major tours, you think you would have time for us at Dale Hollow Lake next summer? I’ve begged Jim to get you to come see us! You really seem like a “sit around the fire and have a beer” kind of guy, I LOVE THAT! I’ve followed you from Louisville to Raleigh and to Indianapolis this year, what will I do next year? Dale Hollow- Please?

  • Bill Gallatin

    My kids bought me tickets for my birthday. My youngest and I went to see you at Indy. I was wondering if it was as good a show as I have heard. I was a concert goer since 1979. Seen alot of bands. Your show is the best ever. You lived up to the hype and more. I have the best kids in the world and they gave me the best birthday present ever. Take care Kenney and enjoy that old blue chair!!!!!

  • Ellen M

    If anyone deserves a break it is Kenny. I am so glad I saw Kenny in Boston this summer.. In September I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. In order to keep my thoughts positive I listen to I’m Alive with Kenny and Dave Mathews on a daily basis. It is just a reminder that at this moment no matter how bad things get I can be grateful for being alive. I think it is time for Kenny to be Alive and not just live. Time to be a little selfish Kenny and take some time for yourself. We will miss you but you’ll be back even better. Enjoy your time off, thank you and God Bless!

  • Angela

    you will be sadly missed next year but you deserve a break. One of your biggest fans from Philly. Angela


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