“Noelle & The No Shoes Nation”

What Is The No Shoes Nation?

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By Noelle Campbell

 It is a community built around the mutual admiration and love of Kenny Chesney and his music. No Shoes Nation extends beyond normal fandom, into a way of life we proudly embrace; a way of life that is about passion and following your heart, despite what the naysayers may say. It’s about finding your song and singing it loud and proud, even if it’s off key. We are a lot like a tribe with our own traditions, rites of passage, and, in some ways, language. Once you’re in, once you connect to the No Shoes Nation vibe, there’s really no leaving. You’re hooked and you don’t look back. Our territory is the stadiums, arenas, and amphitheaters we make our summer pilgrimages to, many of us multiple times a summer. Once the tour is announced, we pick the shows we will meet at and start counting the days until we see each other and Kenny. We happily travel across the country, and some across borders, to make each show. Some of us are one-time strangers who met at a show and left as lifelong friends. Others are fans who “met” online and then met in real life at shows, dancing, singing, and laughing the night away. No Shoes Nation is a community full of passionate, exuberant people addicted to the magic that is Kenny’s music. It is music that inhabits our lives and creates a connection to our souls, and to the other members of No Shoes Nation, including Kenny.

No Shoes Nation is an eclectic community. We love our flip-flops and our cowboy boots. We love No Shoes Radio and we love our rum, preferably Blue Chair Bay. We are the beach and we are the country. We are the big city and we are the small town. We are worldwide. We’d rather share some cold Coronas on the beach, than sip martinis at an exclusive club. We sing-a-long to all the songs at every show we attend, every lyric memorized, each note etched in our hearts. We’ll take any seat in the venue, just to be at the show. Those of us lucky enough, get to experience a show from the Sandbar, that magical ground zero near the stage where you feel the intensity of the energy in the venue. We love Kenny for creating this bubble, this No Shoes Nation, that we proudly declare our citizenship in while waving a Jolly Roger flag. His song titles and lyrics have become mottos and sayings only No Shoes Nation members truly understand. We have our “out last night” stories and our “when I see this bar” stories. If we aren’t there, we long to be “on the coast of somewhere beautiful” with “the sun and the sand and a drink in our hand with no bottom.” And we want to live our life “like Jose.”

Kenny’s songs always take us back to time spent with our No Shoes Nation family at tailgates, at shows, at the beach, in the islands, and anywhere else we might meet up. We welcome each new member with open arms, saying, “hey man, where ya been?” We want to “spread the love” that Kenny has given us through his music and his shows. No Shoes Nation is a community like no other, that you have to be a part of to understand, but we’re always willing to make room for more. We’ll be the “best friends you just met today.” We are No Shoes Nation.

 

 

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