On August 4 and 5, 2023, Bryan abruptly canceled concerts on his Country On Tour in Salt Lake City and Boise, Idaho, saying that he wasn’t bouncing back from a bad cold and could no longer perform. Midday on August 6, he revealed that he also wouldn’t be able to headline that night’s concert at the three-day Watershed Festival in George, Washington.
“This is such a frustrating weekend,” Bryan wrote on his social media accounts. “‘Shedders, I am sorry to let you down but I am not back singing – can hardly even talk still. This festival is one of the most beautiful places we perform and one of the most fun crowds always. I know my friends on the show will bring a great time for you! Show them all what you got. Love ya – Luke”
Amid well-wishes from some fans, many concertgoers have complained that Bryan’s announcements could have been made much sooner, especially given that the first cancelation came less than an hour before his concert was set to begin. Here’s what you need to know:
Luke Bryan Issues Statements About Concert Cancelations
Bryan had issued social media updates ahead of each scheduled concert to announce the cancellations. On August 4, he tweeted and wrote in his Instagram Stories that he’d been “battling a head cold” for the “last couple of weeks.”
“I have been spending those days warming up and singing and have been able to perform,” he continued. “Today I have followed the same routine trying to not give up, but I am just not getting better. I truly can not give you the show I want to give.”
Bryan thanked fans “for understanding” and announced that the Salt Lake City concert would be rescheduled for August 31. According to KJZZ, concert organizers advised those who needed a refund to contact their point of purchase.
Later that night, he and his doctors also made the call to cancel his August 5 concert in Boise. Bryan again wrote messages to his fans on social media about the cancellation, saying, “This is so hard for me to do.”
“Under the advisement of doctors I need another day to rest my voice and get better,” he wrote. “There is nothing that I love more than to play live shows and I am so disappointed to not be able to do this for you.”
Bryan didn’t announce a rescheduled date for that concert but added that “more info will be sent to those who bought tickets.”
Meanwhile, Watershed Festival organizers quickly replaced Bryan with Lainey Wilson, who performed on the “American Idol” finale with her record labelmate JellyRoll and contestants MaryBeth Byrd and Warren Peay. The festival announced it would also issue a refund for a third of festival-goers’ purchases to make up for the lineup change.
At the time of this publication, Bryan’s tourmate and former “American Idol” winner Chayce Beckham was still expected to perform his late-afternoon set at the festival. Bryan will have a few days more to rest up, given that their next scheduled concerts on the Country On Tour are August 10 in Rogers, Arkansas, and August 12 in Nashville, where Bryan lives.
Fans React to Luke Bryan’s Concert Cancelations: ‘We Are So Sad’
Fans with tickets to the Salt Lake City concert were particularly upset by the cancelation, given that Bryan’s social media announcements were released less than an hour before the concert was scheduled to start.
Many commented on an Instagram post Bryan uploaded earlier in the day, featuring a music video excerpt for his latest single, “But I Got a Beer in My Hand,” and captioned it, “Did someone say #InternationalBeerDay?”
In the comment section, one fan quipped, “Someone celebrated international beer day a little too hard, and couldn’t make it to their own concert🥱”
Someone else wrote, “Is that why my Friday night was cancelled? Alcohol ? 🙄 Feel Better Soon, Mr. Bryan. ❤️❤️”
Another concertgoer complained, “You post in your story you’ve been fighting a head cold for weeks and you wait until doors literally open at Usana to cancel in Salt Lake tonight? 🥱🖕🏻”
“@lukebryan my mom and I travelled from Canada to see you in salt lake tonight, we are so sad 😢😢,” another person commented.
Some fans acknowledged that Bryan had been struggling on stage during recent concerts.
One fan recalled, “He was getting ‘sick’ a couple weeks ago at the concert we were at, he thought it was allergies. He made it through, but it was a struggle, his voice cracked a few times, but it was still an amazing show. Hope you rest and feel better soon♥️”
Another wrote, “my parents went to his show last week my mom said you could tell he was sick he couldn’t almost finish the performance last week”
Bryan revealed in June that he was having a “rough year,” struggling to balance his work and family life.
“I’m not really balancing it that well this year,” he told “Entertainment Tonight,” adding that he’d admitted as much to his wife of 16 years, Caroline Boyer. “I’m like, ‘Baby, this is a rough year, let’s just get through it and then we’ll find a boat and go to the Caribbean or something.'”