Country megastar Kenny Chesney has announced that his upcoming tour has been postponed again, with COVID-19 still having an impact on major events.
Having originally seen his 2020 tour plans kiboshed by the onset of the pandemic, Chesney says that things haven't moved on sufficiently for his stadium tour to go ahead in 2021 either, and so is pushing it back to 2022.
The tour includes a stop at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, a new date for which has not yet been confirmed.
In a press release, Chesney's team notes that while "the world is moving back to normal ... with the varying local statutes and practices and social distancing, touring in 2021 would mean that a good percentage of people would not be able to come to the show."
"Rather than disappoint any of the fans, especially with safety precautions varying from city-to-city, he has decided to move his tour to 2022," it said.
Minnesota is loosening restrictions to allow stadiums to operate at 25% capacity above 500 fans, which will allow 10,000 fans inside the Minnesota Twins stadium for the home opener on April 8.
By the same equation, U.S. Bank Stadium would be allowed to permit 18,625 fans for events, given its concert capacity is 73,000.
"I can’t play knowing I would disappoint a portion of No Shoes Nation who wouldn’t be able to get into the stadiums and the amphitheaters,” Chesney said. “There’s no way around that this year. As much I hate postponing further, I would hate telling people who waited we won’t be able to let them come due to capacity restrictions. That’s just not fair.”
There have been concerns recently that Minnesota could be set for another spike in COVID-19 cases before a sufficient number of residents have been vaccinated, with the state seeing an outbreak of the B.1.1.7 variant in four counties at the moment.
While some outdoor music festivals such as Rock the Garden have decided to also postpone in 2021, others like WE Fest in Detroit Lakes and Twin Cities Summer Jam in Shakopee are moving ahead with their festival plans.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has also expressed hope that with the vaccination rollout accelerating, there's a chance the Minnesota State Fair could go ahead in some form this August.