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‘Long Story Short: Willie Nelson 90’ Film To Premiere In Australian Cinemas Next Month

18 May 2023 | 2:04 pm | Ellie Robinson

The historic concert film will screen at independent picture houses for just one week.

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Willie Nelson’s upcoming concert film Long Story Short: Willie Nelson 90 – an immortalisation of his monumental 90th birthday bash – has been confirmed for an Australian release.

It’ll screen exclusively at independent cinemas starting on Saturday June 10, with most hosting screenings regularly until the following Friday (June 16). A list of participating cinemas is yet to be shared, however moviegoing hopefuls are encouraged to check with their local locations.

Long Story Short was filmed over two nights last month – April 29 and 30 – at the iconic Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, where Nelson celebrated his 90th birthday. In addition to a performance from the timeless country great himself, the sold-out concerts boasted performances from the likes of Keith Richards, Snoop Dogg, George Strait, Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Dave Matthews, Neil Young, The Lumineers, Sheryl Crow, Jack Johnson, Gary Clark Jr. and Billy Strings.

The film itself was helmed by Blackbird Presents in tandem with Mark Rothbaum (Nelson’s manager) and Joe Hand Promotions. In a joint statement, Rothbaum and Keith Wortman (CEO of Blackbird Presents) said: “Demand to attend this historic concert event was unprecedented. Willie wanted to make sure his 90th birthday party included and was accessible to all of his fans. This concert film release will allow everyone to join in and celebrate with Willie and an amazing line-up of superstar artists. We are thrilled to share this concert event with fans around the globe in such a unique and powerful way.”

Joe Hand Jr. echoed the sentiment in a statement of his own, adding: “We are truly excited to present Willie Nelson 90 in theatres as a celebration to the legendary musician's 90th birthday. Willie Nelson has had an indelible impact on the world, and we are thrilled to provide fans with a unique opportunity to celebrate his milestone birthday through this special concert event. 

“The theatre experience will recapture the energy and excitement of this historic live show and present it to fans around the world with a superior viewing experience on the big screen. It’s an honour to have the opportunity to help share this historic event, and we look forward to celebrating his remarkable legacy and timeless music in theatres.”

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The local release of Long Story Short comes courtesy of Independent Cinemas Australia. The organisation’s CEO, Brett Rosengarten, said he’s “excited to have this concert movie as exclusive content” for cinemas signed up to ICA. It’ll be a national release, with streaming and home video details expected to arrive shortly after the exclusivity window.

Earlier this week, Nelson announced the release of his latest book, Energy Follows Thought: The Stories Behind My Songs. Co-authored by David Ritz and Mickey Raphael – the former of whom also worked with Nelson on his last two books, It’s A Long Story: My Life (2015) and Pretty Paper (2016) – the new anthology will be published by HarperCollins, and is due to hit shelves on October 31. It’ll see Nelson explore the stories behind 160 of his all-time greatest songs, with “a dynamic assortment of never-before-seen photos and ephemera” also promised.

Also shared this month was the news that Nelson would finally be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. That ceremony will go down in November, when he’ll join the likes of Kate Bush, Rage Against The Machine and Sheryl Crow as new additions to the famed roster.