The Belong Tour featuring best selling Christian authors Jen Hatmaker and Shauna Niequist has been canceled. Hatmaker and Niequist, along with author Deidra Riggs, singer Nichole Nordeman, and others, were scheduled to appear at a dozen two-day events at stadiums and convention centers across the country, starting in late August and running through early December.
The reason cited for the tour's cancellation was the low sales in tickets sold. This is what the promoters said: "Due to low ticket sales and the high cost of doing these events, we have found it necessary to postpone and restructure the tour," the Belong website said. A new version of the tour will resume in 2018."
"There is no way for me to say how sorry I am," Hatmaker told her Facebook fans. "I am just sick. In all my years of ministry, I have never cancelled an event or had one cancelled like this, and I share every bit of your frustration, shock, and disappointment."
"This decision wasn't ours, and when we became aware of it, our first question, of course, was 'What about the women who have trusted us with their weekends?'" wrote Niequist on Instagram. "I apologize for the ways this change affects so many of you. I'm thankful for all of you who took a risk & joined us in 2016, & for all of you who bought tickets for 2017."
The Belong Tour debuted last year as a younger spinoff to Women of Faith, which concluded its farewell tour in 2016 after 20 years of events totaling more than 5 million attendees. Over the past five years, Women of Faith has changed ownership a few times, from publisher Thomas Nelson's Live Events Management to popular talent agency William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME) to its current owner, Inspire Live, which purchased the company within the past year, according to WME.
However, according to fans and commentators, some believed the tour was cancelled because there was not enough prayer, Bible reading, and explicit Christian focus. Others believe that Hatmaker's remarks endorsing same-sex relationships and surprise guest speaker Glennon Doyle Melton, who later announced her relationship with soccer star Abby Wambach were factors that contributed to the tour's cancellation.
Hatmaker's newest book, Of Mess And Moxie, was slated to be sold during the 2017 Belong Tour.