There Will Be No Willie Nelson 4th of July Picnic in 2021, but…

photo: Brad Coolidge

Live music is coming back pretty quickly as the pandemic winds down, with many local shows already up and roaring, some theater, arena, and even stadium shows already happening or set to transpire soon, and big tours and festivals kicking off in earnest.

But one of the most iconic and longest-lasting traditions in country music will be taking a second year off: Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic. A tradition started with the 1973 Drippings Springs Reunion at the Hurlbut Ranch outside of Austin, organizers just didn’t have time with the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic to put something together for 2021, making it two years in a row revelers will miss spending Independence Day with Willie.

Since 1973, 48 Willie Nelson Picnics have been held, but on twelve separate years—including a four year stint between 1991 and 1994—Willie skipped the Picnic, which at times has been a rousing success, and other times has been a logistical nightmare for the country legend.

But those wanting to see Willie again will get numerous other opportunities, and very soon. Willie Nelson will finally be making his live return to music with a run of shows called “Luck Presents: Welcome Back Willie” July 16-18. The shows will feature full sets by Willie and his Family band and a different opening act. Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis will open on July 16, Reckless Kelly on July 17, and Morgan James on July 18.

“This is a socially distanced show, and Luck Presents is taking all precautions to ensure the safest possible experience,” they say. “The event is being sold at a quarter capacity so that attendees can comfortably enjoy the event.”

Tickets will go on sale Thursday, June 24th, and will be sold in four person pods at luckpresents.com .

Willie Nelson will also be embarking on the Outlaw Music Festival Tour starting August 22nd, which by all accounts will be full-fledged amphitheater shows will few restrictions. Willie will be joined by Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Gov’t Mule, Margo Price, and others on select dates. See the full lineups below.

2021 Outlaw Music Festival Tour Dates:

August 22 — Austin, Texas at Germania Insurance Amphitheatre
Willie Nelson & Family
Chris Stapleton
Ryan Bingham
Yola

September 10 —  Gilford, New Hampshire at Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
Willie Nelson & Family
Sturgill Simpson
Gov’t Mule
Margo Price

September 11 — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at TD Pavilion at the Mann
Willie Nelson & Family
Sturgill Simpson
Gov’t Mule
Margo Price

September 12 — Saratoga, New York at Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Willie Nelson & Family
Sturgill Simpson
Gov’t Mule
Margo Price

September 17 — Virginia Beach, Virginia at Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheatre
Willie Nelson & Family
Sturgill Simpson
Gov’t Mule
Margo Price

September 18 — Raleigh, North Carolina at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
Willie Nelson & Family
Sturgill Simpson
Gov’t Mule
Margo Price

September 19 — Charlotte, North Carolina at PNC Music Pavilion
Willie Nelson & Family
Sturgill Simpson
Gov’t Mule
Margo Price

September 22 — Alpharetta, Georgia at Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
Willie Nelson & Family
Sturgill Simpson
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Kathleen Edwards

September 24 — Columbia, Maryland at Merriweather Post Pavilion
Willie Nelson & Family
Sturgill Simpson
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Gov’t Mule
Kathleen Edwards

October 15 —  Phoenix, Arizona at Ak-Chin Pavilion
Willie Nelson & Family
The Avett Brothers
Gov’t Mule
Lucinda Williams
Ida Mae

October 16 —  Irvine, California at Five Point Amphitheatre
Willie Nelson & Family
The Avett Brothers
Gov’t Mule
Lucinda Williams
Ida Mae

October 17 —  San Diego, California at Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre
Willie Nelson & Family
The Avett Brothers
Ida Mae

October 23 — Mountain View, California at Shoreline Amphitheatre
Willie Nelson & Family
The Avett Brothers
Gov’t Mule
Lucinda Williams
Ida Mae

October 24 —  Wheatland, California at Toyota, Amphitheatre
Willie Nelson & Family
The Avett Brothers
Gov’t Mule
Lucinda Williams
Ida Mae

© 2021 Saving Country Music
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