For thirty years, rock legend Neil Young has been hosting his Bridge School benefits concert, which under the non-profit The Bridge School, helped “ensure individuals with severe speech and physical impairments achieve full participation in their communities.” Now, it appears that the concert series has come to an end.
“Although I will continue in fund-raising efforts, for personal reasons beginning this year I will no longer be hosting The Bridge School Concert,” Young said in a statement on the official website. The concert had seen a whos-who of legendary acts over the years: Guns N’ Roses, Arcade Fire, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Metallica, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and several others have all been a part of the series over its three-decade long run. “My heart is with each and every child we have had the honor to serve and those we will continue to serve,” says Springsteen on leaving the concert series.
Co-founder and ex-wife of Young, Pegi Young, shared similar feelings in her letter. “We want to express our sincere and profound thanks to all of you for your love and support, demonstrated by way of your attendance at 30 years of Bridge School Benefit Concerts.” However, she asserted that the Bridge School’s work is far from over. “Because our mission is of such great importance to so many, we proceed onward with optimisim into the future. Stay tuned for updates as we begin to shape what the next steps will be in reaching our endowment goals.”
While the news is a bummer for sure, there is some positive news to report. Farm Aid, the annual benefit concert to raise money for family farmers, just announced its 2017 lineup. The festival was first organized by Young, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp back in 1985 and has grown quite a bit over the past few years.
This year, the festival will be located at KeyBank Pavillion in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania and will include its three founders, along with acts including The Avett Brothers, Sheryl Crow, Jamey Johnson, Blackberry Smoke, Valerie June, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, as well as Insects vs. Robots. Festival veterans Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds will also be returning for the 2017 iteration. You can snag tickets for presale now. You can also check out both Neil and Pegi’s letters in full here.