Willie Nelson’s Hollywood Bowl Birthday Tribute Coming to Movie Theaters in June
A film rendering of the two-night 90th birthday tribute to Willie Nelson at the Hollywood Bowl in April will be coming to movie theaters sooner rather than later. “Long Story Short: Willie Nelson 90” will appear on the big screen across the U.S. for three nights, with an initial showing on June 11 followed by repeat screenings on June 13-14.
The running time is being described as “two hours plus,” which means editors have a big job on their hands cutting down the more than six hours of music that transpired April 29-30 at the Bowl, with very little overlap of material between the two nights. A lot of artists who appeared at one or both shows will necessarily not make the cut.
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But the announcement for the concert film promises plenty of big names who definitely will make the movie version — among them, Keith Richards (pictured above with Nelson at the end of night 2), George Strait, Snoop Dogg, Dave Matthews, Chris Stapleton, Neil Young, the Lumineers, Miranda Lambert, Sheryl Crow, Billy Strings, Gary Clark Jr. and Jack Johnson, along with the promise of “many more.”
Tickets are available for the June screenings starting today, here.
The Bowl shows were one of the hot tickets of the year in L.A. — producing not quite a Taylor Swift level of hysteria, but close enough, for audiences of a certain age. The shows were sold as a two-fer, indicative of how little overlap there was in the setlists for the two nights, with a few repeat exceptions, like Billy Strings opening both nights with “Whiskey River” and Nelson himself closing the show on both Saturday and Sunday with “On the Road Again” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”
The presenters for the two shows were Helen Mirren, Chelsea Handler, Ethan Hawke, Jennifer Garner, Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson. The house band, led by music director (and bassist) Don Was, included Benmont Tench, Mickey Raphael, Audley Freed, Gabe Witcher, Greg Leisz, Terence Higgins, Tom Bukovac and the McCrary sisters (Alfreda, Ann and Regina McCrary).
Other artists participating in the shows, who may or may not be included in the film, included Kris Kristofferson, Rosanne Cash, Margo Price, Bob Weir, Nathaniel Rateliff, Ziggy Marley, Emmylou Harris, Dwight Yoakam, Daniel Lanois, Allison Russell, Sturgill Simpson, the Avett Brothers, Booker T. Jones, Buddy Cannon, Charley Crockett, Charlie Sexton, Edie Brickell, Leon Bridges, Lily Meola, Lukas Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Orville Peck, Particle Kid, Rodney Crowell, Shooter Jennings, Stephen Stills, Tom Jones, Tyler Childers, Warren Haynes and Waylon Payne.
Read Variety‘s coverage of night 1 here and night 2 here.
In a joint statement, Nelson’s manager, Mark Rothbaum, and Keith Wortman, CEO of Blackbird Presents, said, “Demand to attend this historic concert event was unprecedented. Willie wanted to make sure his 90th birthday party included and was accessible to all of his fans. This concert film release will allow everyone to join in and celebrate with Willie and an amazing line-up of superstar artists. We are thrilled to share this concert event with fans around the globe in such a unique and powerful way.”
Nelson turned 90 on the first night of the two-show engagement at the Bowl.
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