Reigning CMA and ACM Vocal Duo of the Year Sugarland will launch a new headlining tour entitled “IN THE HANDS OF THE FANS” this April. Besides relying on fan interaction to determine the set list played in each city, the tour will also include fans in other, more innovative ways.
“This year’s tour is based around the concept of putting the show into the hands of the fans,” begins Jennifer Nettles. “THEY will make the requests that will help form the set list and guide the show. Through texts, handwritten signs, the Internet, and phone calls made during the show, the fans will become the conductors as well as the audience.”
“But that’s not all,” continues Kristian Bush. “In keeping with this new radically fan-centered approach, we’re inviting regular folks to come out a few hours before showtime to set up all the seating and stage rigging themselves. We’re not traveling with a crew, nor are we asking the venues to provide one. This is something that has never been done before. We really want all of our SugarFriends to feel liabili… I mean, ownership… of the whole concert experience. After all, they’re the ones that make everything possible.”
Although these SugarHelpers are invited to attend a special ‘Thank You’ dinner after the show, sticking around for the dinner is by no means compulsory, as Bush explains: “If at any time, for any reason, you’d like to leave, just get out of here. Nothing is stopping you. Even if it’s right in the middle of the show, we won’t be offended. It’s your call, you know? Totally up to you. We’re not forcing anyone into anything.”
The band has also announced FlexiSugar Start Times, whereby individual concerts will begin at whatever time fans deem most agreeable based on their knowledge of local weather systems.
The tour’s fan focus extends even to autograph sessions, where Sugarland will collect fan signatures on special, collectible waivers watermarked with inspirational lyrics from The Incredible Machine. “They’re always asking for our autographs, but now we want theirs!” enthuses Bush. “It’ll be great to have a record of all our friends at each show! If you hold the forms up to the light, you can see all kinds of neat designs and lyrics back there. We think the carbon copies will make great keepsakes.”
Bush refused to comment on Sugarland’s current legal troubles, saying only that he is personally dedicated to making their upcoming tour as fan-focused as possible.
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