Kenny Chesney On The “Learning Curve” Of Playing Stadium-Sized Concerts

"I don’t compete with SEC football. There’s no way I’m going to do it," says the legendary performer

Kenny Chesney has more than 20 stadium shows across the United States scheduled for 2022 via his Here and Now Tour, and he still remembers when the jump in his career success occurred that put him on a stadium-concert level of stardom.

He noted in a recent Audacy interview, he remembers many tricks of the trade that he’s willing to pass on to younger performers.

“When you go from an arena, selling like, 12 or 13,000 [tickets] and having to sell 50 to 60,000, not only is there anxiety that comes along with that, but you have to cover a lot more ground,” he noted. “There was a learning curve for me when I did my first football stadiums. Just being on that massive stage and getting comfortable in that space. It was a blind leap of faith, it was crazy.”

When it comes to playing 50,000-plus seat venues, he has a key rule of thumb that ties in well with much of country music’s southern roots.

“We always end our tour right before football season, because I refuse to work during football season for two reasons. I want to watch the games, and I don’t want to compete with [the NCAA’s] Southestern Conference football. There’s no way I’m going to do it,” he told radio host Paul Finebaum in September.

Chesney postponed his 2020 tour to 2021, and then pushed those dates until 2022 due to COVID safety concerns. If interested in seeing Chesney live next year — with Carly Pearce, Dan + Shay, and Old Dominion — click here for ticket information.