Why is Kesha only playing intimate venues on her 2018 tour?

Katherine Nelson
Kat’s greatest loves are food, puns, travel, and, most of all, music. She grew up in the fine arts but lives for the indie scene, and appreciates everything from hard rock to Celtic folk music. Kat believes that life is better with a pair of noise-canceling headphones and a playlist full of songs that will get stuck in your head. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @indierella_


When Kesha dropped her first single, “Rainbow” off her comeback album, I was living. That high note during the bridge cleansed my soul, made my acne go away, cured my anxiety, and repaid my student loans.

“Woman,” “Learn to Let Go,” and, let’s face it, the whole Rainbow album is golden. You get to know her prowess as a songwriter, her singing voice punches you in the throat, and the sound experience is so personal and so open, it feels like Kesha is pouring her soul out through your and right into you.

Her older hits like “Die Young” are still such bangers, but “Rainbow” is a beautiful gift.

Kesha for President 2020.

I expected her U.S. and Canada tour to be all but sold out as soon as the dates dropped, but interestingly, Kesha is scheduled to play at a series of smaller venues instead of stadiums.

Over the summer, The 1975 played Madison Square Garden, an arena that fills about 20,000 people. They have about two million followers on Twitter. Kesha has nearly four million followers on Twitter, yet she is set to play Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC, which holds about 2,000 people.

So why is Kesha playing venues for 1,000-2,500 fans when she could easily get huge crowd turnouts at full-size stadiums? Well, it could have to do with the intimacy such venues provide. You won’t get as many sign-holding, trying-to-sneak-onstage fans, but you will get more crowd surfing and close contact with strangers. There’s something special about being able to see your favorite band just a few feet from where you’re standing.

Maybe Kesha is nervous about being in front of large crowds? Her trial with Dr. Luke was emotionally taxing, so maybe past trauma is keeping her from stepping on stage in front of thousands of people.

Performing in front of so many people–fans putting their faith in you, haters judging you, it can’t be easy. More power to Kesha for choosing to play her music in the setting she wants.

Sadly for the fans, not only are most of the tickets sold out on her website, but the tickets cost more than $100 a person. That’s not a price tag everyone can swing.

On the flip side, Kesha has millions of fans cheering her on — both listening in the crowd and in their rooms.