Neil Young at Farm Aid 2018; © Scott Streble
Neil Young has announced that he’s decided not to perform at the Farm Aid 2021 festival scheduled for September 25 at Xfinity Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut, citing his concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In a message posted on NeilYoungArchives.com, the 75-year-old rock legend writes, “Lots is going on in our world right now. I find myself wondering whether [Farm Aid] will be safe for everyone with the Covid pandemic surging…I don’t want to let anybody down, but still can’t shake the feeling that it might not be safe for everyone. I worry about audiences coming together in these times.”
He continues, “All you people who can’t go to a concert because you still don’t feel safe, I stand with you. I don’t want you to see me playing and think it’s safe now. I don’t want to play until you feel safe, and it is indeed…safe.”
Young adds, “My soul tells me it would be wrong to risk having anyone die because they wanted to hear music and be with friends… Since we know vaccinated people can catch and spread Covid, I worry about the children who could become infected after [Farm Aid], just by being with someone, maybe a parent, who caught the virus at [Farm Aid] and didn’t know it.”
Neil, who traditionally co-headlines the annual event with fellow Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews, notes, “While I respect Willie, John and Dave’s decisions to stick with it and play, I am not of the same mind. It is a tough call.”
Other artists on the 2021 Farm Aid bill include Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Margo Price, Sturgill Simpson, Bettye LaVette and Jamey Johnson. The concert is sold out.
For more info, visit FarmAid.com.
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