This year has been challenging for people in various industries including entertainment. Country music recording artist Jason Owen says he has had to cancel 30 planned gigs throughout 2020, mostly in regional towns.
The former X Factor finalist was in the middle of his Superstars of Country Music tour alongside fellow country singer Hayley Jensen when COVID struck in March, with the remainder of shows put on hold until hopefully next year. He was also forced to cancel his upcoming August tour Jason Owen sings John Denver tour which has now rescheduled it for August 2021.
Elsewhere most major country music events have been axed including the 2021 Tamworth Country Music Festival. The recently announced cancellation of the premier event, which on average brings in around $50 million to the town each year, will have major economic ramifications.
“It’s been a challenging time for all country artists and devastating to hear about Tamworth,” said Owen, who has performed at the iconic festival multiple times. “It’s understandable but disappointing for rural Australia that my tours and others had to be cancelled, particularly for towns where artists don’t often visit. People on the land, who are under stress need a night out occasionally to let their hair down. Hopefully we’ll be able to resume touring next year.”
The 26-year-old who is originally from the town of Albert, NSW, which has a population of just 12, has been keeping himself as busy as possible having just released his latest single – power ballad Before I Let You Go – out September 18. He’s also just finished shooting the latest series of his online show How Ya Goin With Jason Owen which this season features chats with farmers and rural community workers.
However, with extra time on his hands, Owen also took a job as a Menulog driver delivering take away food to a 15km radius around his home in the Central Coast. “I needed to fill in my time and keep active from a mental health point of view as I was getting really restless in my apartment all day. Lots of entertainers have been in this position. It’s been a bit of a surreal experience, some people recognize me at their front door and have asked for pictures and autographs.”
Jason was also recently forced to postpone his upcoming November wedding to fiancé Beccy due to COVID restricting the number of guests. “We’d invited 200 people and did not want to exclude anyone so made the tough decision to postpone it. There was also no dancefloor allowed which would have been difficult to forgo as I’m from a musical family and my relatives were planning to be the band.”
The wedding which was fully planned to go ahead in Albert in the church Jason’s great grandmother established, on the date of Jason’s grandfather’s 92nd birthday as a special nod, has tentatively been rescheduled for mid-next year.
In the meantime, Jason has continued to raise money the charity he established – Doin it for Rural Aussie Kids which helps kids affected by drought, bushfires and COVID. Last year Jason raised thousands of dollars through his bushfire appeal and delivered school stationary packs and toys to rural schools.
Before I let you go is available to pre order at: https://ABCMusic.lnk.to/BeforeILetYouGo