The tour gets a kick start on September 1 with an appearance at Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival. Wilco are the first special guests to tag along, with Ed Harcourt and Sparklehorse picking up other dates along the way. There’s still room for other acts on the itinerary. The outing wraps October 11 in Georgia.

Ticket on-sale dates for the first shows have yet to be announced, although others look to go on sale as early as April 12.

As previously reported, the band will be kicking off a European festival tour in June. A post on the group’s Web site,, at the time said “As for the other parts of the world… 2004 is a good guess.”

No wonder they’re so eager to get back on the road; it’s been four years since R.E.M. last toured. “We have been locked up in the studio and are anxious to see the outside again,” Michael Stipe said. “So we will spend some of the next year on tour with other people who love music.”