Trek kicks off June 13th
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame group Lynyrd Skynyrd was well into the Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour, when the worldwide shutdown forced the band – and all musicians – off the road. Over 15 months since their last date together, the southern rock icons aren’t quite ready to say “farewell.” They are back and ready to hit the road on their Big Wheels Keep On Turnin’ Tour. The initial 30 dates kick off June 13th and run coast to coast and border to border through November 19th.
Original Lynyrd Skynyrd member Gary Rossington, lead singer Johnny Van Zant and lead guitarist Rickey Medlocke delivered a personal message to their fans about the band’s touring plans. The video can be seen below.
“We were two shows into the end of the three-year plan for the farewell tour, when the virus hit and everything was just gone,” Van Zant says. “Once something is taken away from you – music and touring in our case – you truly realize how important it is and such a part of your life. Music is a great healer, and that’s what we all turn to when things are good or bad. A Skynyrd show is a family affair, and we want these dates to help heal our fans as much as ourselves.”
Rossington adds, “COVID turned our world upside down. And since that time, we have been talking amongst the band, and realized that music has such a way of healing. Maybe it’s not our time to go. And maybe it’s our time to lift people’s spirits and lives and bring back some joy and happiness after so much turmoil this past year. We’re still standing, still keeping the music going.”
The band’s first show back in over 15 months saw them headlining the opening night of the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam in Panama City Beach last Friday. The legendary rockers picked up right where they left off, drawing over 23,000 music fans ready to cut loose and sing along to everlasting classics like “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Simple Man,” “Gimme Three Steps,” “What’s Your Name,” “Call Me The Breeze,” “You Got that Right,” self-proclaimed signature song, “Free Bird,” and more. It is easy to see why Rolling Stone named Lynyrd Skynyrd one of its 100 Greatest Bands of All Time.
Thirteen of The Big Wheels Keep On Turnin’ Tour shows will go on sale to the public this Friday, June 11th at 10 am local time via Ticketmaster. Fan presale begins Wednesday, June 9th at 10 am local time by logging onto lynyrdskynyrd.com/tour and using the special code SKYNYRDBIGWHEELS. Those dates are designated with an asterisk (*) on the schedule below.
“Being locked down brought a big perspective of how much I missed the band and the fans and not to ever take it for granted,” states Medlocke. “Merle Haggard was once asked, ‘Why do you do this? You don’t need to do this.’ He said, ‘I’m a musician, this is what I do – I play.’ That’s what we are. We’re musicians. We play. No matter what comes around, we love to be out playing for the fans. Once the band hits the stage, I hope everybody will forget about last year for a little while.”
Lynyrd Skynyrd is returning to live music with original member, Gary Rossington, being joined by Johnny Van Zant, Rickey Medlocke, Mark “Sparky” Matejka, Michael Cartellone, Keith Christopher, Peter Keys, Dale Krantz Rossington, and Carol Chase.
Hard driving rockers Tesla will perform as direct support for a majority of the Big Wheels Keep On Turnin’ Tour dates, and Kansas, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Blackberry Smoke, Allman Betts Band, and The Marshall Tucker Band wrap up the other dates.
“Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam represented what’s in the air, what the fans want and what we have to offer,” adds Van Zant. “We’re back, we’re playing shows, and we’re going to finish what the heck we started. We miss the people singing the songs and having a good time, and that’s what Skynyrd is all about.”
Lynyrd Skynyrd Big Wheels Keep On Turnin’ Tour Dates:
June 13 Forest City, IA Country Thunder Iowa
June 18 Ft. Worth, TX Billy Bob’s Texas
June 19 Ft. Worth, TX Billy Bob’s Texas
July 22 Shakopee, MN Twin Cities Summer Jam
July 23 Minot, ND North Dakota State Fair
Aug 9 Canton, OH Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
Aug 10 Jackson, MI Jackson County Fair
Aug 13 Atlanta, GA* Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood
Aug 14 Cullman, AL Rock The South
Aug 19 Canandaigua, NY* CMAC
Aug 20 Bethel, NY* Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
Aug 22 Wildwood, NJ Barefoot Country Music Festival
Aug 27 Holmdel, NJ* PNC Bank Arts Center
Aug 28 Saratoga Springs, NY* Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Sept 3 Paducah, KY Touchdowns and Tunes Tailgate Party
Sept 4 Durant, OK Choctaw Grand Theater
Sept 17 Selbyville, DE Freeman Arts Pavilion
Sept 18 Doswell, VA After Hours Concerts at the Meadow Event Park
Sept 23 Mansfield, MA* Xfinity Center
Sept 27 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheater
Oct 1 Irvine, CA* FivePoint Amphitheater
Oct 2 Laughlin, NV Laughlin Event Center
Oct 8 Noblesville, IN* Ruoff Music Center
Oct 9 Cincinnati, OH* Riverbend Music Center
Nov 5 Knoxville, TN* Thompson Boling Arena
Nov 6 Charleston, WV* Charleston Coliseum
Nov 13 Greensboro, NC* Greensboro Coliseum
Nov 14 Daytona Beach, FL Welcome to Rockville
Nov 19 Bossier City, LA* Brookshire Grocery Arena