The legendary Irish band the Chieftains have planned a new 2020 U.S. tour that they’re calling The Irish Goodbye. 

The tour starts on February 14, 2020, in Maryville, Tennessee and ends in Fairfax, Virginia on March 19, 2020.  On St. Patrick’s night The Chieftains will play the Town Hall in New York City.

Chieftains leader Paddy Moloney says, “It’ll be fantastic to return once again to America where we are always welcomed with open arms. We’ll share a lively evening of music, stories, laughter and great craic! In each city, we will perform with local pipe and drum bands, Irish dance schools, choirs and special guests – the whole shebang! It’s always fun to showcase local talent to their hometown crowds.”

A press release announcing next year’s tour didn’t say definitively that this will be last America sees of the Chieftains.

The Chieftains playing in Spain. Image: Facebook.

The Chieftains playing in Spain. Image: Facebook.

“What is an Irish Goodbye you may ask? states that an Irish Goodbye is sneaking out of a party without telling anyone. But some people disagree. They say that an Irish person can’t be the last one to leave the party without hours of long conversations, a few sing-alongs, and elaborate keening farewells,” the release said.

“So you may have to guess which definition fits this tour. Are they leaving us or are they staying around for a few more songs?”

Read more: Paddy Moloney on 55 years of life with The Chieftains

The Chieftains were formed in Ireland in 1962 by Moloney, the top traditional folk musician in Ireland and around the world.  “Their ability to transcend musical boundaries and blend tradition with modern music has notably hailed them as one of the most renowned and revered musical groups to this day. After more than 57 years of making some of the most beautiful music in the world, the Chieftains' music remains as fresh and relevant as when they first began,” the release added.

“As cultural ambassadors, their performances have been linked with seminal historic events, such as being the first Western musicians to perform on the Great Wall of China, participating in Roger Waters’ The Wall performance in Berlin in 1990 and being the first ensemble to perform a concert in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

“In 2010, their experimental collaborations extended to out of this world, when Paddy Moloney’s whistle and Matt Molloy’s flute traveled with NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, to the international space station.  Although their early following was purely a folk audience, the range, and variation of their music and accompanying musicians quickly captured a much broader audience, elevating their status to the likeness of fellow Irish band, U2.” 

Moloney added, “Our U.S. fans continue to give us the warmest of welcomes, so it’s going to be a huge pleasure to play once again for all our friends.” 

For full tour information and tickets go to