Irving Azoff Hopeful for 2021 Return to Touring: 'By Mid-Summer, We Think We're Going to Get Our Lives Back'

Florida Georgia Line
Courtesy of CRS / Kayla Schoen Photography

Florida Georgia Line kicked off Friday’s Big Machine Label Group luncheon, held Feb. 21, 2020 during Country Radio Seminar 2020.  

Manager says Florida Georgia Line could be back on the road in Spring as duo is honored for record-setting RIAA achievements

Leading artist manager Irving Azoff shared his belief that artists will be able to return to the road as early as spring 2021 on a Zoom event Thursday (Nov. 19) celebrating Full Stop Management clients Florida Georgia Line.

Azoff and his son, Jeffrey Azoff, manage the country duo of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, who were honored by the RIAA for their record-setting achievements, including becoming the only country act in the organization's 62-year history to earn two diamond country single awards for “Cruise” and “Meant To Be” (with Bebe Rexha). The designation means that each song has garnered 10 million units. (A unit counts as a permanent digital download or 150 on-demand audio and/or video streams.)

Asked about a tour, Hubbard, who is recovering from COVID-19, responded, “We know it's going to be in the spring of next year sometime. We're hoping for the best.”

Azoff, whose company also manages Harry Styles, Lizzo and others, added, “This thing's going to end... We're going to be back on the road. We may have to have little passes on our phone that say we've either had a test or a vaccination, but, you know, we're pretty gung-ho. It wouldn't surprise to me to see the boys on the road late spring. But by mid-summer, we think we're going to get our lives back. So everybody kind of stay the course, work together.”

Last week, Ticketmaster announced a framework for post-pandemic fan safety that uses smart phones to verify fans' vaccination status or whether they've tested negative for the coronavirus within a set window of time.

"We’re already seeing many third-party health care providers prepare to handle the vetting -- whether that is getting a vaccine, taking a test, or other methods of review and approval - which could then be linked via a digital ticket so everyone entering the event is verified," Ticketmaster president Mark Yovich told Billboard.

It’s been a big week for Florida Georgia Line. On Monday, Billboard broke the news of an exclusive North American touring deal with Live Nation and on Tuesday The Hollywood Reporter announced a new country movie musical the band is working on with original music and revamped country classics.

Tom Roland provided assistance on this story.

Florida Georgia Line Accept Top Country Song at 2019 BBMAs