Willie Nelson Cancels Festival Tour Dates Over Health Concerns

22 June 2024 | 9:17 am | Mary Varvaris

Willie Nelson is expected to return to the road next week.

Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson (Image: Supplied)

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Willie Nelson will miss a run of dates on his Outlaw Music Festival Tour due to illness.

The tour, led by Willie Nelson and family, runs throughout this month through September, with the country music legend joined by Bob Dylan, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, John Mellencamp, Billy Strings, Brittney Spencer, Celisse and Southern Avenue.

According to a new statement on Willie Nelson’s social media, the singer is unwell and needs the next four days to rest. Lukas Nelson and the Family Band will headline the event while his father recovers, and the remainder of the line-up will continue performing uninterrupted. Willie is expected to make a speedy recovery.

The statement reads, “We regret to inform you that Willie Nelson is not feeling well and, per doctor's orders, has been advised to rest for the next four days. He is expected to make a quick recovery and join the Outlaw Music Festival tour next week.

“In the meantime, Lukas Nelson and the Family Band, along with a few guests, will perform a special set to include Willie's classics and other songs.

“Bob Dylan, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss and Celisse will continue to perform as scheduled.”

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In other Willie Nelson news, the star recently joined forces with alt-country artist Orville Peck for a rendition of Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond Of Each Other.

The song, originally written by Latin country songwriter Ned Sublette in 1981, was performed and released by Willie Nelson in 2006, following the release of the film Brokeback Mountain.

Peck said about working with Nelson in a Rolling Stone interview:

Just getting to be around Willie is so special. You’d think he would make you starstruck because he is such a legend, but he just emanates joy.

It was his initial idea for us to do the song together, and I will forever be grateful for his support. As an artist who has sometimes felt excluded from the Country music industry, once Willie Nelson wants to work with you, there’s really nothing the country world can say after that.

Now 91 years old, Nelson released his 75th albumThe Border, last month.