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Nickel Creek confirms co-headline tour with Andrew Bird this summer


January 29, 2024—GRAMMY Award-winning trio Nickel Creek—mandolinist Chris Thile, violinist Sara Watkins and guitarist Sean Watkins—will join forces with Andrew Bird for a special co-headline tour this summer. Newly confirmed stops include Boise’s Outlaw Field at the Idaho Botanical Garden, Minneapolis’ Surly Brewing, Charlottesville’s Ting Pavilion, Asheville’s Rabbit Rabbit, Atlanta’s Coca-Cola Roxy and Charleston’s Firefly Distillery among many others. See below for complete tour itinerary. 

Of the tour, Thile shares, “AHHH!!! We can’t even BEGIN to express our excitement to be back on the road with Andrew Bird! Our only other tour together was almost 20 years ago, and he’s been a HUGE source of inspiration to us ever since. Relentlessly creative, always searching for that next unexpected melody or couplet, and what a performer. We can’t WAIT to catch up with him and all of you this summer!” 

Tickets and VIP packages for the new shows will be available for pre-sale starting tomorrow, January 30 at 10:00am local time with general on-sale following this Friday, February 2 at 10:00am local time. $1 from every ticket sold will benefit World Central Kitchen, supporting their mission of being first to the frontlines, providing meals in response to humanitarian, climate and community crises. For ticket and pre-sale details, visit

The upcoming performances add to a landmark year for the band, who are nominated for Best Folk Album at this weekend’s 66th Annual GRAMMY Awards for their acclaimed new record, Celebrants. The band’s fifth studio album and first project in nine years, Celebrants was recorded at Nashville’s RCA Studio A and released to overwhelming critical acclaim last spring via Thirty Tigers (stream/purchase here). Of the album NPR Music declares, “the trio sounds and plays better than ever… these songs are nuanced and honest, not fantasy but one suited for introspection,” while Paste praises, “their instruments and voices alternately blend and shine…it’s a joy to have the gang back together.”

Together a sum of more than their staggering parts, Nickel Creek revolutionized bluegrass and folk in the early 2000s and ushered in a new era of what we now recognize as Americana music. In a 2020 retrospective entitled, “The Year Folk Broke: How Nickel Creek Made Americana The New Indie Rock,” NPR Music praised, “20 years ago this month, an album arrived that seemed to speak all these languages at once: unafraid to push the boundaries of its primary genre, and packing the musical chops to bring such an eclectic vision to life. Behind it were three musicians just barely old enough to vote” and continued, “That makes Nickel Creek and its unofficial debut a critical point along a storied timeline, one whose innovations offer countless connections between the genre’s origins and its future. Once dubbed ‘progressive newgrassers,’ the three musicians now fit firmly within the ranks of Americana music—however nebulous, layered and diverse that realm may be. They have only themselves to thank.”

After meeting as young children and subsequently earning the respect of the bluegrass circuit for a decade, the trio signed with venerable label, Sugar Hill Records, in 2000 and quickly broke through with their Grammy-nominated, Alison Krauss-produced self-titled LP. Since that effort, the trio has released three more studio albums to date: 2002’s This Side, which won Best Contemporary Folk Album at the 45th Grammy Awards, 2005’s Why Should the Fire Die? and 2014’s A Dotted Line.  

Each member of Nickel Creek has also taken part in many outside projects over the years. Thile is a 2012 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and served as the host of the American radio variety show Live from Here (formerly A Prairie Home Companion) from 2016 to 2020. He has also released collaborative albums with world-renowned musicians like Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Brad Mehldau and Stuart Duncan as well as six studio albums with his Grammy-winning band, Punch Brothers. Sean Watkins is a co-founder of Watkins Family Hour alongside Sara, who has released three albums and maintains a long-running collaborative show in Los Angeles. Sean has also released a string of solo albums, while Sara’s extracurricular projects include the aforementioned Watkins Family Hour, as well as the Grammy-winning roots trio, I’m With Her, which she co-founded alongside Aoife O’Donovan and Sarah Jarosz. Sara has released four studio albums and has contributed fiddle to recordings by artists like Phoebe Bridgers, the Killers and John Mayer.

1. Celebrants
2. Strangers
3. Water Under the Bridge, Part 1
4. The Meadow
5. Thinnest Wall
6. Going Out…
7. Holding Pattern
8. Where the Long Line Leads
9. Goddamned Saint
10. Stone’s Throw
11. Goddamned Saint, Reprise
12. From the Beach
13. To The Airport
14. …Despite the Weather
15. Hollywood Ending
16. New Blood
17. Water Under the Bridge, Part 2
18. Failure Isn’t Forever
BOLD on-sale this Friday, February 2 at 10:00am local time
February 6—Iowa City, IA—Hancher Auditorium
February 7—Madison, WI—Overture Hall
February 9—Des Moines, IA—Hoyt Sherman Place
February 10—Indianapolis, IN—Murat Theatre at Old National Centre
February 12—Peoria, IL—Peoria Civic Center Theater
February 13—Kalamazoo, MI—Kalamazoo State Theatre
February 15—Columbus, OH—Mershon Auditorium
February 16—Fort Wayne, IN—The Clyde Theatre
February 17—Louisville, KY—The Louisville Palace
February 19—Durham, NC—Durham Performing Arts Center
February 20—Augusta, GA—Miller Theater
February 21—Jacksonville, FL—Florida Theatre
February 23—Fort Lauderdale, FL—Broward Center for the Performing Arts
February 24—Clearwater, FL—Ruth Eckerd Hall
March 12—Canton, OH—Canton Palace Theatre
March 14—Bethesda, MD—Music Center at Strathmore
March 15—Newark, NJ—NJPAC
March 16—Rochester, NY—Kodak Center
March 17—Burlington, VT—Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
March 19—Groton, MA—Groton Hill Music Center Concert Hall
March 21—Storrs, CT—Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts
March 22— Troy, NY—Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
March 23—Buffalo, NY—University at Buffalo Center for the Arts
March 24— Lancaster, PA—American Music Theatre
April 25—Knoxville, TN—Tennessee Theatre
April 26—Knoxville, TN—Tennessee Theatre (SOLD OUT)
April 27—Savannah, GA—Johnny Mercer Theatre
April 28—Wilkesboro, NC—MerleFest
April 30—Huntsville, AL—VBC Mark Smith Concert Hall
May 2—Little Rock, AR—The Hall
May 4—New Orleans, LA—New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
May 11—Miramar Beach, FL—Brandi Carlile’s Mothership Weekend
July 5—Jacksonville, OR—Britt Pavilion
July 6—Bend, OR—Hayden Homes Amphitheater
July 7—Boise, ID—Outlaw Field at the Idaho Botanical Garden
July 8—Missoula, MT—Big Sky Brewing Co. Amphitheater
July 10—Sandy, UT—Sandy Amphitheater
July 12—Omaha, NE—The Astro Amphitheater
July 13—Minneapolis, MN—Surly Brewing
July 14—Bayfield, WI—Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua
July 15—Interlochen, MI—Kresge Auditorium
July 17—Charlottesville, VA—Ting Pavilion
July 18—Asheville, NC—Rabbit Rabbit
July 19—Atlanta, GA—Coca-Cola Roxy
July 20—North Charleston, SC—Firefly Distillery
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