‘Doctor’s orders’: Willie Nelson to miss Outlaw Music Festival in Charlotte, Raleigh

Country-music legend Willie Nelson, who turned 91 in April, will not perform in Charlotte this weekend after all due to an unspecified illness.

Live Nation Carolina posted on X Friday afternoon: “We regret to inform you that Willie Nelson is not feeling well and, per doctor’s orders, has been advised to rest for the next four days. He is expected to make a quick recovery and join the Outlaw Music Festival tour next week.”

The Charlotte concert is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday at PNC Music Pavilion, with ticket prices starting at about $55, not including fees.

“In the meantime,” Live Nation Carolina wrote, “Lukas Nelson and the Family Band, along with a few guests, will perform a special set to include Willie’s classics and other songs. Bob Dylan, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss and Celisse will continue to perform as scheduled.”

The announcement means Nelson will also miss Friday night’s concert in Alpharetta, Georgia, and Sunday night’s show at Coastal Credit Union Music Park in Raleigh.

For Charlotte, this marks the second time in the past several years that a show featuring a bill with Nelson has been disrupted by the headliner’s health.

In May 2018, the Country Music Hall of Famer came to the PNC Music Pavilion — also on a Saturday night, also as part of his Outlaw Music Festival — then left without ever playing or singing a single note, leaving fans confused, angry and disappointed. Shortly after that incident six years ago, Live Nation Carolinas issued a statement saying Nelson had fallen ill.

Earlier that year he had preemptively canceled several concerts on the tour due to “breathing problems”; the following year, he was diagnosed with emphysema.

Nelson founded the Outlaw Music Festival in 2016.