The popular Bridge School Benefit concert that Neil Young has hosted for the past 30 years will not take place in 2017 and its future remains unclear.
Bridge School announced the news in a statement written by Pegi Young, Neil Young’s ex-wife, on its website on Wednesday (June 14) under the headline “No Bridge School Benefit Concert in 2017.” The school was co-founded by Pegi Young in 1986 for children with severe speech and physical impairments after she and Neil Young had trouble finding a suitable school for their non-verbal son, Ben Young, who has cerebral palsy. She is currently the president of the board of directors.
“The Bridge School Benefit Concert, traditionally held at Shoreline Amphitheatre, will not be held in 2017,” reads Pegi Young’s 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. They have been truly memorable events and we have great appreciation for everyone who has been involved beginning, of course, with Neil Young and including all the many artists who have been so generous with their time and talent; the production people who have made it all possible.”
Since 1986, the annual Bridge School Benefit concert has hosted acoustic performances from some of music’s biggest names. David Bowie, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, The Who, Brian Wilson, Patti Smith, Arcade Fire, My Morning Jacket and many more have all joined Neil Young onstage for the event.
Neil Young also issued a statement on the school website, citing “personal reasons” for no longer hosting the event beginning this year.
“Although I will continue in fund raising efforts, for personal reasons beginning this year I will no longer be hosting The Bridge School Concert,” he wrote. “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. Thanks to my incredible son Ben Young for being there at my side throughout these many Bridge School years. I love you buddy. The Bridge School would not have been possible without you.”