It's going to be another bummer summer for Kenny Chesney fans. The grand poobah of No Shoes Nation is once again saying "no way" to a giant summer concert tour and has postponed all of his 2021 dates to 2022 because of COVID-19 safety concerns, including his already once-delayed stop at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
A new date at the Vikings stadium — originally scheduled May 2, 2020, then moved to June 5, 2021 — has not yet been confirmed but is promised, along with 17 other shows on his U.S. tour with openers Florida Georgia Line and Old Dominion.
Fans can hang on to their current tickets but they don't have to. Unlike a lot of other postponed tours, Chesney is offering refunds.
In a statement sent out Monday morning, the country music megastar cited ongoing stadium capacity restrictions that vary from state to state as the reason he is postponing again.
"We have waited for so long, 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 as 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."
Monday's announcement could be an indicator of what's to come of other big summer tours.
U.S. Bank Stadium has two other concerts on the calendar this summer: Def Leppard with Mötley Crüe, Poison and Joan Jett on July 8, and George Strait on July 31. Stadium representatives did not offer any information about what might happen with those shows.
The same goes with the Guns N' Roses and Green Day/Weezer tours headed to Target Field on July 16 and Aug. 11, respectively. A representative at the Twins ballpark said "nothing has been finalized yet" for those shows.
Under existing Minnesota rules and CDC guidelines, all these concerts would have to be staged at reduced capacity, which most concert organizers are unwilling to do. However, those restrictions could be loosened by summer.
Several outdoor summer festivals, including Twin Cities Summer Jam at Canterbury Park and We Fest in Detroit Lakes, are still going ahead with plans to host big crowds this summer.
In Minneapolis, however, Rock the Garden was already postponed until 2022, and organizers of the Basilica Block Party are exploring options to delay their July event until fall.
Chris Riemenschneider • 612-673-4658 Twitter: @ChrisRstrib