Neil Young Takes Serious Issue With Sponsor of Co-Headlining Bob Dylan Hyde Park Concert

Alice Chiche / AFP
Neil Young performs on stage in Quebec City during 2018 Festival d'ete de Quebec on July 6, 2018.

The rock icon was also upset about the show in London being announced before he was ready.

Neil Young expressed his frustration over the weekend with the announcement of his summer 2019 show with Bob Dylan in London's Hyde Park. The rock icon vented his anger in a post on the Neil Young Archives site, complaining both about the manner in which the show was announced and the title sponsor of the anticipated gig.

"You..... who were taken by surprise waking up to the BOB DYLAN/ NEIL YOUNG - HYDE PARK CONCERT announcement posted on every outlet except NYA [Neil Young Archives], might wonder why it was not on NYA... and you should," wrote Young on the site, apologizing for the unexpected nature of the reveal. Young said he too did not know the show was being announced on Nov. 27 (with tickets going on sale on Nov. 30), noting that he was still "finessing" the art for the poster and trying to make sure all the details of the gig were "agreeable to me. Then, suddenly, someone jumped the gun. The tickets were put on sale and the announcement was made, all without my knowledge."

The July 12 show is part of the British Summer Time festival sponsored by banking giant Barclays -- which has been criticized in the past for funding oil pipelines and other fossil fuel projects. Young, a long-time environmental advocate, apologized to the NYA subscribers who have been promised pre-sale access to his show, and assured them that he was not happy about the situation, or the show's title sponsor. "In addition, I learned that the show had a sponsor, 'Barclays Bank, a fossil fuel funding entity. That doesn't work for me," he wrote. "I believe in Science. I worry about the Climate Crisis and am deeply concerned about its massive global ramifications and my beautiful grandchildren's future."

The post, which included lyrics to Young's 1988 anti-corporate screed "This Note's For You," ("I ain't singin' for Pepsi/ I ain't singin' for Coke/ I won't sing for nobody/ Makes me feel like a joke"), ended with "there's no doubt about it - Its been a massive fuck up!" Young said his team has since had a number of meetings and they are trying to fix the situation, including talks of changing the sponsorship. "We are quite confident that nothing like this will ever happen again," he wrote. "We're sorry for this situation -- it is -- and shall remain an anomaly."

A spokesperson for Barclays could not be reached for comment at press time.


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