“As we got into March and festivals started canceling — I saw the Stones move their stadium dates — I got really nervous, as anybody would be that employs as many people as I do,” he told the Los Angeles Times.
The eight-time Entertainer of the Year revealed that despite his initial fears, he is continuing to pay his 120 employees while they are at home and off the road.
“Thank God I don’t have to let anybody go this year,” he said. “Now, if we don’t play the next two or three years, it’s really gonna change the dynamic of my life. And I’m not gonna lie — it’s expensive.”
When asked how much it costs to keep the paychecks flowing, Chesney didn’t go into specifics.
“I don’t want to get into numbers. But it’s a lot of money. A lot of money,” the East Tennessee native explained. “The initial shock of it, I looked at the numbers and went, Oh my God, this is overwhelming. And, look, it’s affecting my life — I’m not gonna say it’s not. But I had to make a decision if I was gonna keep my lifestyle the way it was or if I’m gonna take care of my people.”
The Chillaxification Tour was officially postponed last week after Chesney consulted with “medical experts, city commissioners, team owners, building staffs and the NFL” over the decision.
“I’ve laid awake many nights thinking about this, not wanting to disappoint all the people who are with us every summer…some who fly from all over the country to meet up, people who’re coming for the first time… friends who’ve met at the tailgate or the Sandbar,” he wrote in a heartfelt message to fans at the time of the tour cancellation. “No Shoes Nation is not just people buying a ticket to a show, and I know that. I care, because you guys care so very much.”
Details surrounding Chesney’s 2021 tour have yet to be revealed.