Willie Nelson Walks Off Stage, Reschedules Gig

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Willie Nelson (Photo by James Minchin, used with permission)

For the second time this year, Willie Nelson, due to illness, left the stage at a gig before playing a note. The latest incident took place Saturday (May 26) at the Outlaw Music Festival Tour at the PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, N.C. According to reports, the 85-year-old country/Americana music legend took the stage, waved to the crowd and picked up his guitar—then abruptly returned the guitar to its stand, threw his cowboy hat into the audience and walked off stage without explanation.

Nelson’s band mates reportedly remained onstage for some time, unaware of whether the star would return.

A tweet from Live Nation Carolina, posted after the show, stated that Nelson had left the stage due to illness and that the show would be rescheduled. It instructed fans to hold on to their ticket stubs, which would be honored at the later date.

Related: Willie has a new album, Last Man Standing

According to an article on the tasteofcountry.com website, many fans remained at the venue for an hour or more without knowing whether Nelson would return to the stage.

To complicate matters, two other previously announced participants in the festival, Elvis Costello and Brandi Carlile, had already canceled their appearances before the night of the show, Costello citing a “non-life-threatening surgical procedure” and Carlile a family matter.

Fans attending the festival got to see Sturgill Simpson, Old Crow Medicine Show and a couple of other acts before the Nelson incident put a sudden end to the night’s entertainment.

Nelson’s publicist announced, following the cancelation, that Nelson was suffering from a stomach ailment but that he was planning on performing Sunday evening (May 27) at a scheduled Washington. D.C. date.

Related: Nelson returned to the stage on May 27

In January, Nelson left the stage abruptly after singing just one song at Harrah’s Resort SoCal in Southern California. According to published recollections from fans in attendance, the singer began performing his customary opening number, “Whiskey River,” but was coughing and appeared to be having difficulty breathing. As in North Carolina, he left the stage and did not return.

Watch Willie Nelson walk on, and then off, the stage at the North Carolina show

Willie Nelson & Family 2018 Tour Dates (Tickets are available here and here)

Jun 22 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center (Outlaw Music Festival)
Jun 23 – Noblesville, IN – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center (Outlaw Music Festival)
Jun 24 – Detroit, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre (Outlaw Music Festival)
Jun 26 – Mt. Pleasant, MI – Soaring Eagle Casino (with John Fogerty and ZZ Top)
Jun 27 – Fort Wayne, IN – Foellinger Outdoor Theatre
Jun 29 – Little Rock, AR – Verizon Arena (Outlaw Music Festival)
Jun 30 – Dallas, TX – Starplex Pavilion (Outlaw Music Festival)
Jul 01 – The Woodlands, TX – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion (Outlaw Music Festival)
Jul 04 – Austin, TX – Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic at Austin 360 Amphitheater

Jul 28 – Murphys, CA – Ironstone Amphitheatre (with Alison Krauss)
Jul 29 – Reno, NV – Grand Sierra Resort and Casino (with Alison Krauss)
Jul 31 – Troutdale, OR – Edgefield (with Alison Krauss)
Aug 01 – Redmond, WA – Marymoor Park (with Alison Krauss)
Aug 03 – Airway Heights, WA – Northern Quest Resort and Casino (with Alison Krauss)
Aug 04 – Bend, OR – Les Schwab Amphitheater (with Alison Krauss)
Aug 06 – Saratoga, CA – Mountain Winery (with Alison Krauss)
Aug 07 – Fresno, CA – Save Mart Center (with Alison Krauss)
Aug 09 – Costa Mesa, CA – The Pacific Amphitheatre (with Alison Krauss)
Aug 10 – San Diego, CA – Humphreys Concerts (with Alison Krauss)
Aug 11 – Paso Robles, CA – Vina Robles Amphitheatre (with Alison Krauss)

Sep 07 – Burgettstown, PA – KeyBank Pavilion (Outlaw Music Festival)
Sep 08 – Hershey, PA – Hersheypark Stadium (Outlaw Music Festival)
Sep 09 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stadium (Outlaw Music Festival)
Sep 12 – Forest Hills, NY – Forest Hills Stadium (with Van Morrison)
Sep 14 – Scranton, PA – The Pavilion at Montage Mountain (Outlaw Music Festival)
Sep 15 – Camden, NJ – BB&T Pavilion (Outlaw Music Festival)
Sep 16 – Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center (Outlaw Music Festival)
Sep 21 – Mansfield, MA – Xfinity Center (Outlaw Music Festival)
Sep 23 – Saratoga Springs, NY – SPAC (Outlaw Music Festival)
Oct 12 – Laughlin, NV – E Center
Oct 17 – Rohnert Park, CA – Graton Resort and Casino
Oct 19 – Las Vegas, NV – The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan
Oct 20 – Las Vegas, NV – The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan
Nov 09 – Biloxi, MS – IP Casino Resort (rescheduled from Feb. 9)
Nov 10 – Macon, CA – Macon City Auditorium (rescheduled from Feb. 7)
Nov 12 – Estero, FL – Germain Arena (rescheduled from Feb. 12)
Nov 14 – Panama City, FL – Marina Civic Center (rescheduled from Feb. 10)


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