After taking 2010 off from touring, Kenny Chesney will return to the road in a big way in 2011 — he just announced 41 new arena and amphitheater dates on his Goin’ Coastal Tour.
These dates, along with 10 previously announced stadium shows (two already sold out), will see Chesney seek to continue his streak of seven consecutive tours with more than 1 million in attendance.
As on previous tours, TMG/AEG Live will promote, and Corona is the presenting sponsor. The tour begins March 17 at the Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, Fla., and is in support of Chesney’s latest album, “Hemingway’s Whiskey.” Billy Currington and Uncle Kracker will support on all dates, and Zac Brown Band will be featured at the stadium shows.
Many songs on the new record will translate well to the concert stage, Chesney believes, including the tour’s namesake and the “island vibe” songs his fans have come to love.
“The thing I love about ’Hemingway’s Whiskey’ is there is a little bit of that 1/8island sound3/8 in there in the song ’Hemingway’s Whiskey,’ there’s a little bit of that in ’You and Tequila’,” Chesney told Billboard in an interview last fall. “But then there’s another side of it, where we can go play a football stadium with some of these songs if we want to. I love sitting on a stool, just me and a guitar, and there’s some of that on this record. But then again, I love my band and I love the crowd, and I love the light and the energy that’s passed back and forth on that first song and for the two hours that I’m out there. And there’s a lot of that on this record.”
Over the past decade, Chesney has become the biggest ticket seller in country music and among the elite touring artists in the world. In the past 10 years, Chesney grossed about $500 million and sold nearly 10 million tickets, according to Billboard Boxscore. He owns a wealth of Billboard Touring Awards to go with his platinum albums and industry accolades, and when he wrapped the Sun City Carnival tour in 2009 Chesney’s drawing power showed no sign of waning.
Shows already on sale reflect that Chesney’s ticket selling ability remains intact. “Everything we put up is huge,” Louis Messina, president of TMG/AEG Live, tells Billboard.com. “Foxboro (Mass.) sold out in eight minutes. Philly, Pittsburgh and Kansas City will be sold out soon, and everything else will be sold out or close to sold out before the event. We’ll be putting up the arenas and amphitheaters 1/8on sale3/8 soon.”