Santigold Cancels Holified Tour, Speaks Out about Challenges of Touring

"I can't make it work [...] I think it's important for people to know the truth of what it's like out here for artists and I don't believe enough of us are talking about it publicly"

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Santigold Cancels Holified Tour, Speaks Out about Challenges of Touring

Santigold is making a statement with the cancellation of the Holified Tour, her fall North American run in support of her acclaimed new album Spirituals. The singer/songwriter announced the tour’s cancellation Tuesday morning in an lengthy open letter explaining her reasoning and shining a spotlight on “the truth of what it’s like out here for artists,” emphasizing the importance of raising awareness about the daunting set of challenges faced by today’s touring musicians.

“I am both sad and proud to announce my decision to cancel the Holified Tour,” Santigold writes in her letter, shared via social media, before expounding on the “immense challenges, some physical, some mental, some spiritual, some economic,” faced even by artists of her stature. “Some of us are finding ourselves simply unable to make it work,” she explains, continuing:

In my case, I have tried and tried, looked at what it would take from every angle, and I simply don’t have it. I can’t make it work. I’m actually going to elaborate on it more later because I think it’s important for people to know the truth of what it’s like out here for artists and I don’t believe enough of us are talking about it publicly.

From there, Santigold, a mother of three, opens up about the impact such hardships have had on her own life, writing, “I want to tell you that for me it has taken a toll—through anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, vertigo, chronic pain, and missing crucial time with my children.”

She concludes:

How could I release Spirituals, an album about honoring yourself and refusing to cross your own boundaries, and not take this opportunity to do just that for myself? I want you to understand that I am proud to be canceling this tour when it means that I am proclaiming that I, the person who writes the songs, is as important to me as the songs. I will not continue to sacrifice myself for an industry that has become unsustainable for, and uninterested in the welfare of the artists it is built upon.

Tickets for the Holified Tour will be refunded, a post-script notes, and fans who “email proof of the purchase to VIP@santigold.com, will also receive a VIP membership” that offers “access to early releases and announcements, and options to purchase special merch and other exclusive experiences” specific to this group.

Santigold joins a small, but growing group of prominent artists, including Little Simz and Shawn Mendes, who have recently canceled tours so as to prioritize their livelihoods and mental health.

Find Santigold’s full letter below, along with her Spirituals single “High Priestess.” You can stream/buy the album right here.

Dear Friends,

I am both sad and proud to announce my decision to cancel the Holified Tour.

I am sad because it breaks my heart to disappoint those of you who consistently come out to show love and support me for what I do, those of you who have bought tickets and planned trips to come and see me. When I think of disappointing you all, I feel the disappointment deep in the pit of my stomach as well. I was excited to finally be back with you in person to celebrate and bring the music of this new record to life. I know that without you I would never have been able to continue making music for all of these years, and I am so grateful.

But for the past several years we have all been through immense challenges, some physical, some mental, some spiritual, some economic. And yet, as we have begun to trudge on, much of the toll of that experience has been left untended as we rush back in, attempting to make up for lost time, to reconnect, catch up on bills unpaid, to escape the insanity that had begun to set in. For many of us, the landscapes we are re-entering are not the same.

As a touring musician, I don’t think anyone anticipated the new reality that awaited us. After sitting idle (not being able to do shows) for the past couple years, many of us like everyone else, earning no or little income during that time, every musician that could, rushed back out immediately when it was deemed safe to do shows. We were met with the height of inflation—gas, tour buses, hotels, and flight costs skyrocketed—many of our tried-and-true venues unavailable due to a flooded market of artists trying to book shows in the same cities, and positive test results constantly halting schedules with devastating financial consequences. All of that on top of the already-tapped mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional resources of just having made it through the past few years. Some of us are finding ourselves simply unable to make it work.

In my case, I have tried and tried, looked at what it would take from every angle, and I simply don’t have it. I can’t make it work. I’m actually going to elaborate on it more later because I think it’s important for people to know the truth of what it’s like out here for artists and I don’t believe enough of us are talking about it publicly. I’ve seen a couple articles start to emerge, literally over the past few days, just as I had started writing this letter to you, about musicians canceling tours, prioritizing themselves over the demands of a relentless industry. But for now, I want to tell you that for me it has taken a toll—through anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, vertigo, chronic pain, and missing crucial time with my children. In the place that I’m in, in the place that the music business is in, it feels like I’ve been hanging on, trying to make it to the ever-distant finish line, but my vehicle’s been falling apart the whole time—the bumper fell off, the wheels one at a time, the steering wheel, and finally the whole bottom fell out. And here I am thinking, “Should I just hold the doors up and run?” And my little heart that has been working way beyond its limits, my whole body in fact and my soul too, are screaming at me “NO muthafucka! Pull.The Fuck. Over!”

I’m coming to you with the honesty that is inherent in my music. How could I release Spirituals, an album about honoring yourself and refusing to cross your own boundaries, and not take this opportunity to do just that for myself? I want you to understand that I am proud to be canceling this tour when it means that I am proclaiming that I, the person who writes the songs, is as important to me as the songs. I will not continue to sacrifice myself for an industry that has become unsustainable for, and uninterested in the welfare of the artists it is built upon.

I love you all. And I hope to see you soon.

Santigold

Note: Your tickets will be refunded. Every single one of you who purchased a ticket, when you email proof of the purchase to VIP@santigold.com, will also receive a VIP membership. With this membership, you will have access to early releases and announcements, and options to purchase special merch and other exclusive experiences that I will create just for this group.