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Tour

Folds cancels shows for the rest of 2020

Ben Folds today announced the cancellations of all his shows until at least the end of 2020. Here’s his statement:

This is the official announcement that my touring for 2020 is now canceled and will be rescheduled at the first opportunity in 2021. That’s the important part. But if you’re interested, here’s why I’ve made that decision now:

Infectious disease specialists tell us that COVID-19 will be here for a while, swirling around the globe until it is stopped by a vaccine, and that it is astronomically unlikely that we will develop and distribute that vaccine this year. In fact, we have never before developed a successful vaccine against any coronavirus. Well. That’s all I really need to know.

Just leaving shows on the books, going with wait-and-see until the last minute, is not in the best interest of ticket buyers, promoters, crew and even businesses near venues. It just adds to our endless list of uncertainties. What is needed in a time of such uncertainty, when a historic pandemic is killing people, erasing jobs, and disrupting life as we know it, is to shed as much of that uncertainty as possible, and to take stock of that which is certain.

Health and safety come first. That is certain. The well-being of my audiences — from 12-year olds whose parents cover their ears when I forget not to cuss, to couples their grandparent’s age singing three-part harmonies — is too dear to me to be put at risk. Not to mention those whose paths we might cross once the show lets out. Until this virus is in the rear view — and again we’re told this will not be in 2020 — we cannot be certain large gatherings won’t re-ignite the spread just as it’s been contained. I’m sure that some cities, states and venues might technically allow our concerts much sooner than others. But remember that the USA is a massive country. One city may experience what seems like complete recovery just as another in a neighboring state is seeing an uptick in cases. It would be irresponsible to incentivize music fans to travel from where there was a cancelled show in an infected area, to attend a show in an infection-free area.

Our federal government leaders have decided to let the states and cities fend for themselves, making decisions like these all more stressful. It’s a little like when traffic lights are out during a storm. (Nobody ever complained of the government coming between them and a car accident, did they?) Absent clear direction, we’re all left to rely on what the car ahead of us did, hoping that nobody gets run over in the process. Honestly, absent federal guidance, I took my cue from Taylor Swift who also cancelled all her touring for 2020. A decision like that takes guts, so thank you President Swift. And I’m grateful to have a booking agent, manager, and crew with broad shoulders.

Of course, this is a huge disappointment to me personally.  I’ve never gone a whole year in my two decades plus as a performer without seeing you all from the stage regularly.

Here’s what I say. Let’s get through this and look forward to a time when we can begin the next phase of that long road to recovery. When we can party like it’s 2021 and not like it’s 1918. When we can sing those three-part harmonies with healthy lungs. That is when live music will be able to step in and do its part to heal and inspire. Until then, please stay safe, and remember, no matter how bad it gets, the most comforting certainty is that all this too shall pass.

Ben

Cake Redux

Following last year’s acclaimed tour of the eastern US with Cake, Ben Folds is teaming up with the anti-grunge heroes for a co-headlining western states tour in September 2019. Kicking off in Bonner, Montana, adjacent to the college town of Missoula, the tour plays eleven gigs in seven states, wrapping up in the Dallas, Texas area.

“We had so much fun with Ben last summer that we decided to do it again, this time in the west,” said Cake frontman John McCrea. Calling them “masters and my friends,” Ben said he was happy to be on tour with the Sacramento-based band.

Cake are somewhat of a pillar of the ecology-smart movement. (more…)

Summer evenings with Ben Folds

Ben’s summer schedule this year unites him with alt-rockers Cake on a month-long tour of east coast and midwest festival venues. The An Evening with Cake and Ben Folds mini-tour will play shows in Boston, Philadelphia, Queens, the Jersey Shore, Columbia, Md., Richmond, Nashville, Indianapolis, Chicago and Milwaukee.

The two are a compatible match, according to Ben: “Cake – my rough contemporaries, comrades and heroes – to me, they make universal, poetic, identifiable music with a groove. I’ve learned a lot from these guys and I’m proud as punch to be on tour with them this summer.” He’s also thrilled to have Boston-based electro-funk duo Tall Heights on the bill as openers, and encourages fans to get there early.

He’ll also do a show with the Grand Rapids Symphony and a solo evening at the Bay View Festival in Petoskey, Michigan. Info is available on our Tour Dates page.

Winter midwest tour announced

bfpiano_200Ben Folds will be touring the midwest this winter with a dozen dates in towns in ten states.

It’s a continuation of the Ben Folds and a Piano tour that started last fall. Most shows feature the availability of special VIP and Master Class packages as well. The Master Class packages include a piano class with Ben, meet & greet with autographed photo, early access for the sound check, beverages and other souvenirs. The Soundcheck packages include all of the above except the class.

Dates and cities are:

  • February 12: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • February 14: Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • February 16: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • February 17: Bloomington, Indiana
  • February 21: Columbia, Missouri
  • February 23: Salina, Kansas
  • February 25: Urbana, Illinois
  • February 26: Knoxville, Tennessee
  • February 28: Asheville, North Carolina
  • March 1: Birmingham, Alabama
  • March 3: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • March 4: Memphis, Tennessee

Tickets go on sale to pre-sale fan club members and the VIP packages generally on Wednesday, December 7 and general admission on December 9.

You can find details, including ticket links, on our Tour Dates page.

Ben Folds and a Piano Fall Tour

Ben-Folds-Fall-Tour-v2As we mentioned back in December, Ben Folds hits the road again this fall with a solo piano tour titled, appropriately, Ben Folds and a Piano.

The tour starts out in Raleigh, North Carolina on September 13 and as of now ends on November 9 at Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, with stops in twenty-four states and thirty-one cities including a two-night stop in Milwaukee. More shows may be added as well in the coming days. You can find a complete listing with links to venues, maps, directions and tickets on our Tour Dates page.

The tour was originally going to be called Ben Folds: A Piano and a Playpen because (more…)