Neil Young drops out of Farm Aid: “My soul tells me it would be wrong to risk having anyone die”

He said it was a "tough call"

Neil Young has pulled out of Farm Aid 2021 due to concerns about the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Young, who is a co-founder and board member of Farm Aid, was set to play the festival in Connecticut, US next month alongside Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, Margo Price, Sturgill Simpson and others.

The singer-songwriter explained his decision via his Neil Young Archives website. “I find myself wondering whether Farmaid 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,” he wrote.

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“My soul tells me it would be wrong to risk having anyone die because they wanted to hear music and be with friends.

“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.”

Neil Young
Neil Young. CREDIT: Getty Images

The event on September 25 would been Young’s first public performance since the 2019 edition of Farm Aid in Wisconsin. Read Young’s statement in full below.

“Lots is going on in our world right now. I find myself wondering whether Farmaid will be safe for everyone with the Covid pandemic surging. I worry about that. 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. The show is sold out.

“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 to play until you feel safe, and it is indeed, safe.

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“My soul tells me it would be wrong to risk having anyone die because they wanted to hear music and be with friends.

“No matter where you are. I am with you. Do what you must, but think it through. We will be back. There is much work to do together.

“Since we know vaccinated people can catch and spread Covid, I worry about the children who could become infected after Farmaid, just by being with someone, maybe a parent, who caught the virus at Farmaid and didn’t know it. There are already too many children in hospitals.

“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.

‘”As time passes, I hope the path ahead will become clear. be well love ny.”

Meanwhile, earlier this summer Young provided an on his upcoming new album with Crazy Horse saying that “the Horse is back in the barn, shaking off the rust”.

The veteran musician announced the record earlier in June and revealing that the band already have five songs “ready for the next album”.

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