Neil Young won’t play Farm Aid 2021, due to COVID-19 safety concerns

Neil Young has announced that he will not be playing at this year’s Farm Aid in Hartford, Conn. due to COVID-19 safety concerns.

“Lots is going on in our world right now,” wrote Young on his website. “I find myself wondering whether Farm Aid 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.

All you people who can’t go to a concert because you still don’t feel safe, I stand with you,” Young continued. “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. 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.”

Young also voiced his concerns about the rise of cases of the virus affecting children, “There are already too many children in hospitals.” Farm Aid is a notably family-centric festival.

Festival founder Willie Nelson, John Cougar Mellencamp and Dave Matthews are still set to perform at Farm Aid on Sept. 25. “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.”

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