Neil Young Stepping Back From Bridge School Benefit, Show Won’t Be Held This Year
Citing “personal reasons,” Neil Young is giving up hosting duties for the Bridge School concert series he co-founded with ex-wife Pegi in 1986, and the benefit show appears to be facing something of an uncertain future.
The Youngs made the announcement via separate messages posted at the Bridge School website, with Pegi starting off by noting there won’t be a show in 2017 but promising that “we proceed onward with optimism into the future … as we begin to shape what the next steps will be in reaching our endowment goals.”
In his message, Neil first thanked Pegi “for coming up with the idea and pursuing it with such great dedication, working for the kids like our child Ben, young children with disabilities who needed more than our education system offered” before expressing gratitude for a number of people who worked behind the scenes for the Bridge School over the last several decades, as well as the long list of artists who helped raise money for the cause through their performances.
“To the Bridge School Community, the folks who attend the concerts year after year bringing their wonderful enthusiasm and love, I say thanks and lots of love to every one of you. You are the soul that kept everything happening for all these years. I know the concerts have become part of the Bay Area Landscape and we were all there together. I appreciate being part of it,” he added. “I wish everyone the best as the school heads into the future. My heart is with each and every child we have had the honor to serve and those we will continue to serve, and your parents, siblings, and extended families. Thanks to you all for the honor of serving such a great mission.”
One of the most well-known and long-running rock benefit shows, the Bridge School concerts have made a long list of memorable performances possible over the years, including acoustic sets from Metallica, David Bowie, Guns N’ Roses and Bruce Springsteen, among many others. In addition to raising funds, the shows spawned a series of concert recordings, culminating with a 25th-anniversary box set that was released in 2011.
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