Paul Simon announced plans for a June tour on Monday, with the run of performances set to begin in St. Augustine, Florida on June 1st. Simon then heads up the East Coast for several gigs before angling through the Midwest and ending his trip in Denver on June 28th.
Simon released a new album, Stranger to Stranger, last summer, but his latest tour is not about record promotion: all proceeds from these 17 shows will go to the Half-Earth Project, an initiative of noted scientist E.O. Wilson's Biodiversity Foundation. In an interview with the conservation news site Mongabay, Simon said that the profits from his performances might further biodiversity preservation efforts in "a large swath of area through Alabama down through the Gulf Coast, including Florida."
The singer-songwriter became more public about his interest in biodiversity in 2016, after he read Wilson's book Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight For Life, which argues that humans must "devote half the surface of the Earth to nature" to ensure the planet's health. Writing in The New York Times, Simon praised Wilson's volume. "Half-Earth is compulsory reading if we care about the lives of our children, our children’s children and all of the species alive today," Simon asserted.
His passion for environmental causes also spurred him to head out on the road again, even though, at 75, he is "beginning to think about" performing less. "I can give all the profits to [Wilson]," Simon told Mongabay. "And that will make me feel that I am making a greater contribution than putting more money in my pocket, which I don't need, or becoming more famous, which I really don't need."
Despite Simon's conservation efforts, he assured Mongabay that his June shows will be free of dry scientific digressions. "It's a concert of music … I don't want people to come and think they're going to be lectured to," Simon declared. "But I don't mind having Ed's book available or having [Half-Earth] caps there."
Paul Simon Tour Dates
June 1 - St. Augustine, FL @ St. Augustine Ampitheatre
June 2 - Atlanta, GA @ Chastain Park Ampitheatre
June 4 - Simpsonville, SC @ Heritage Park Ampitheatre
June 6 - Charlotte, NC @ Metro Credit Union Ampitheatre
June 7 - Cary, NC @ Koka Booth Ampitheatre at Regency Park
June 10 - Cincinnati, OH @ PNC Pavilion
June 11 - Toledo, OH @ Zoo Ampitheater
June 13 - Cleveland, OH @ Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
June 14 - Chicago, IL @ Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
June 16 - Eau Claire, WI @ Eaux Claires Festival
June 17 - Eau Claire, WI @ Eaux Claires Festival
June 18 - Sioux Falls, SD @ Denny Sanford Premier Center
June 20 - Billings, MT @ MetraPark Arena
June 21 - Missoula, MT @ Ogren Park at Allegiance Field
June 23 - Spokane, WA @ Spokane Arena
June 24 - Bend, OR @ Les Schwab Ampitheatre
June 25 - Lake Tahoe, NV @ Havey's Outdoor Arena
June 28 - Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Ampitheatre