After missing first seven stops on traveling fest, country legend gets doctor’s clearance ahead of annual July 4th picnic

Willie Nelson has been “cleared” to return to his co-headlining Outlaw Music Festival with Bob Dylan after missing the tour’s first week of shows due to an unspecified illness.

On Friday, the country legend’s social media announced that Nelson had been “cleared by his doctors to go back on the road again. He will resume performing on the Outlaw Tour next week.”

However, “Willie will not be on this weekend’s dates” — including dates in Syracuse, Long Island and Holmdel, New Jersey — bringing Nelson’s total of missed gigs to seven shows. 

After this weekend, the next scheduled date is July 2 in Mansfield, Massachusetts. In Nelson’s absence, his son Lucas has filled in with a set of his father’s music at each stop.


Presuming Nelson rejoins the trek in Mansfield, he should have the green light to perform at his annual 4th of July picnic, this year taking place in Philadelphia with fellow Outlaw Music acts Bob Dylan and Robert Plant & Alison Krauss plus special guest Maren Morris.

The Outlaw Music Festival features both Willie Nelson and Dylan for the entirety of the trek, which concludes September 20. Robert Plant & Alison Krauss and Celisse are also on the lineup for the first half of the tour, with John Mellencamp joining for the second half; Brittney Spencer and Southern Avenue will also switch off on the latter half. Additionally, Billy Strings has signed on the Outlaw Music Festival’s August 10 stop at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington.

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