On August 8, Michael Bublé starts the North American leg of his tour in support of his latest album Higher. It’ll likely be a lot less stressful than the brief tour he did last fall when the risk of COVID-19 infection was still quite high. Why did he take the risk? Well, mostly, to help out his band and crew.
“These people in my band and my crew have been my family for 20 years and they…couldn’t pay their mortgages. They hadn’t worked in a long time,” Michael tells ABC Audio, referring to the impact that the pandemic had on the live music industry.
“The goal wasn’t for me to go out and have some big fancy tour as much as it was for me to connect with the people again, [and] for me to give these guys a chance of making a living and paying their bills,” he explains. “And I got that done.”
“Getting it done” meant a lot of pushback from fans who, Michael says, “weren’t very happy” about the COVID-19 protocols he instituted, including proof of vaccination or a negative test 48 hours before the show.
Looking back, he says of the “thousands” of complaints he received, “There was a group of the audience that…whatever I did wasn’t good enough. [But] I think that…has a lot more to do with them than it had to do with me.”
And Michael’s tour plan worked. He boasts, “We were the only tour and the biggest tour in America that went through 32 shows, and we never had one positive case.”
He laughs, “It wasn’t a fun tour! It wasn’t much of a party tour — it was us staying in our rooms. But we did it. And I’m really proud that we did it.”
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