It had to happen, and you can get all tummy aches not being able to see one of your favorite artists in a more intimate venue. But you have been warned and have had the good fortune for years to see Billy Strings at local watering holes, downtown clubs and historic theaters across the country. But now the call for Billy Strings has reached critical mass, and he will officially take bluegrass music to the arena level in 2023.
Let that sink in for a moment: It’s the music of Bill Monroe that is now becoming so resonant among such a wide swath of the population, they have to book it in over 14,000 capacity venues, and in some cases, for multiple nights in a rower just to satisfy demand. We’ve seen indie country artists like Sturgill Simpson and Tyler Childers join in to play arenas (before the pandemic cut short), but who knows if that could be done today. With Billy Strings, no choice.
This week, Billy Strings announced a slew of new dates for 2023. He’ll be playing an intimate show at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on February 26, as he’s done many times before. But he has also booked not one, but two nights at the Bridgestone Arena across the street in the heart of the traditional country’s epicenter on February 24 and 25. Even some big labels can’t demand that kind of capability.
On February 21 and 22, Billy Strings will perform at the 14,000-capacity John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va., again, two nights at the region’s largest concert venue. Same with the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, NC on March 3-4, and the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA, capacity 21,000.
It is true that Billy String has already played in some arena capacity venues here in 2022, and has sold them as well. It’s also true that to help keep their feet on the ground while giving fans intimate performance opportunities, Strings is also booking smaller shows like his night at the Ryman or one at the 1,000-seat Georgia Theater at Athens on March 7, 2023.
But let’s not forget what’s happening here, and let’s make sure we celebrate how successful this is. Billy Strings is an arena performer now, and he got here not by selling himself, but in many ways, by doubling down on his bluegrass roots, including his upcoming album Me / and / Dad composed of traditional country and bluegrass songs which will be released on November 18th.
Billy’s appeal in the jam band realm has also opened up an entirely different audience, and there’s definitely a Grateful Dead aspect to his fandom of people following him around the country to see him play, which has helped. to build its audience. But ultimately, it’s bluegrass — a staple of true country music — that finds arena-level appeal. Eat your heart, Music Row.
Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, November 4 at 10 a.m. local time. Billy Strings also announced that his next 10 shows will stream for free on nugs.net.
BILLY STRINGS TOUR DATES:
Bold = New dates
03/11 — Kalamazoo, MI @ Wings Event Center
04/11 – Saginaw, MI @ Dow Event Center
05/11 — Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania @ Petersen Events Center
09/11 – Rochester, NY @ Blue Cross Arena
11/11 – Uniondale, NY @ Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
12/11 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Met – EXHAUSTED
11/13 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania @ The Met – EXHAUSTED
11/16 – Richmond, VA @ Virginia Credit Union LIVE! – EXHAUSTED
11/18 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem – EXHAUSTED
11/19 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem – EXHAUSTED
11/29 — Oslo, NO @ Rockefeller Music Hall
11/30 — Copenhagen, DE @ Vega
01/12 — Stockholm, SE @ Slaktkyrkan – EXHAUSTED
03/12 — Berlin, DE @ Columbia Theater – EXHAUSTED
04/12 — Amsterdam, NE @ Melkweg – EXHAUSTED
05/12 — Cologne, DE @ Die Kantine
07/12 — London, UK @ O2 Forum Kentish Town – EXHAUSTED
08/12 — Manchester, UK @ O2 Ritz Manchester
09/12 — Dublin, IE @ The Academy – EXHAUSTED
12/11 — Glasgow, UK @ Galvanizers Yard
12/30 – New Orleans, LA @ Lakefront Arena
12/31 – New Orleans, LA @ Lakefront Arena – EXHAUSTED
02/02 — Denver, CO @ 1STBANK Center – EXHAUSTED
03/02 — Denver, CO @ 1STBANK Center – EXHAUSTED
04/02 — Denver, CO @ 1STBANK Center – EXHAUSTED
02/16 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena
02/17 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena
02/18 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena
2/21 – Charlottesville, Va. @ John Paul Jones Arena
02/22 – Charlottesville, Va. @ John Paul Jones Arena
02/24 — Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
02/25 — Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
02/26 — Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
03/03 – Winston-Salem, NC @ Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum – Doc Watson 100th Anniversary Show
04/03 — Winston-Salem, NC @ Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum
03/07 — Athens, Georgia @ Georgia Theater
10/03 – Atlanta, Georgia @ State Farm Arena
11/03 — Charleston, SC @ North Charleston Coliseum
03/12 – Charleston, SC @ North Charleston Coliseum
03/16 – Cincinnati, OH @ Andrew J Brady Music Center
03/17 – Cincinnati, OH @ Andrew J Brady Music Center
03/18 – Cincinnati, OH @ Andrew J Brady Music Center