If it ever came down to choosing to bring his family on the road with him or winning a GRAMMY, the answer is clear for viral hitmaker, Walker Hayes. Now that he’s out on his own headlining trek, dubbed the “Fancy Like” Tour, he has the power to decide who gets to come along. Him, his wife, their six children, and of course their two dogs, are all embarking on this journey together.
“We’re a unit,” Hayes tells PEOPLE. “We lean on each other. We’re gonna be together as much as we can. Laney’s my best friend. I mean, I want to tell her about everything. Honestly” — he corrects himself — “I don’t even want to tell her about everything. I just want to do it all with her. And then that way I don’t even have to tell her. She can see it for herself, and then we can just sit and smile about it.”
Since becoming a viral sensation with his catchy hit single “Fancy Like”, a lot has changed for Hayes. His fan base has grown tremendously, and he’s been spending even more time on the road playing shows. With his new tour planned, it sounds like he won’t be slowing down on the bus life anytime soon.
“I love it, I just love it,” Hayes shared with the outlet. “I mean, truly, if this is how it goes, I can do this all the rest of my life. I can do this till my legs don’t work. Send us everywhere, I don’t care.”
Hayes didn’t always have these positive feelings about touring, in fact, he was even dreading his own tour during the planning process. Then he realized it was being away from home and his family that brought his spirit down the most, so he decided to change that. Since he was able to acquire some extra space, the whole gang can be there with him.
“We cried. We were so happy. It was better than a GRAMMY nomination,” he admitted when he heard the news that everyone in his home was invited on the tour. When the couple told their six children about the adventure that awaited them, Hayes says, “they lost their minds.”
He hasn’t actually had to choose between his family and winning a GRAMMY, because now he can have both! Hayes recently scored his first Grammy nod for best country song with “Fancy Like.”
One would imagine getting that many people ready for life on the road would be extremely difficult, but apparently it didn’t take long for the Hayes family to fall into a tour routine: “It felt so natural. It was almost like everything we’ve done till now kind of prepared us to just adapt to bus life.”
So how does Hayes make sure to spend some time with his family? Well, he’s already got it figured out. The hitmaker soundchecks at 2 p.m., hangs with the family in late afternoon, begins meet-and-greets at 5 p.m., then hits the stage at 8:40 p.m. During showtime, Laney and his children have the best seat in the house, on the show’s stage side, giving Hayes the comfort of knowing they are physically there for him.
“I never have to say goodbye to my wife and kids,” he says. “I literally hug them before I go onstage, and I hug them when I get off.”
Once the long day is over, all 10 of them head back to what Hayes calls “our house on wheels.” It can be hard to imagine what a bus that fits this many people would look like. So, in the midst of week two, on his way to Iowa, Hayes gave a tour on social media to give people some of their favorite spaces on the bus including their dinner table/school desk, their kitchen, the bunks, and more.
Hayes’ tour with special guest Mackenzie Porter runs from January to April.
The “Fancy Like” tour kicked off in Grand Rapid, MI on January 27, 2022, and makes stops in St. Louis, Austin, New York and Nashville before wrapping up in Louisville on April 30.
“After almost two years with no shows, it feels so good to get back up on stage and see you all in person,” Hayes shared in a statement.
Tickets for Walker Hayes’ Fancy Like Tour are on sale now.