Santigold has abruptly canceled her Holified Tour due to heightened expenses and the “flooded market of artists trying to book shows in the same cities,” among other reasons.
The 46-year-old singer-songwriter, who had been scheduled to initiate the concert series next month, informed fans of the unfortunate news (as well as her view of the post-pandemic live-entertainment landscape) in a nearly 650-word-long open letter on her website.
After thanking supporters and touching upon the “immense challenges” that various professionals have faced since 2020’s beginning, Santigold (full name Santi White) turned her attention to the live-music landscape in which members of the music community are operating.
“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,” Santigold wrote.
“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,” proceeded the Philadelphia native.
For reference, Live Nation has reported selling a record number of tickets during 2022, after lockdown measures decimated the crowd-based entertainment space. But evidence – from reduced-price passes to ample no-shows at indie venues and an overall ticket-sales volume that hasn’t yet returned to its pre-pandemic level – attest to the continued difficulties associated with entertaining in-person audiences.
After noting that “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,” Santigold concluded by making clear her unwillingness to “sacrifice” her physical and mental wellbeing “for an industry that has become unsustainable for, and uninterested in the welfare of the artists.”
“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,” finished Santigold.
Santigold also relayed that fans will receive refunds for their tickets, while those who provide proof of purchase will likewise benefit from a VIP membership on the “Fall First” creator’s website, including “access to early releases and announcements, and options to purchase special merch and other exclusive experiences.”