Neil Young Says Covid-Era Concerts Are Irresponsible: “These Are Super-Spreader Events”

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Neil Young Says Covid-Era Concerts Are Irresponsible: “These Are Super-Spreader Events”

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Neil Young announced last week that he was dropping out of Farm Aid 2021 due to COVID safety concerns. “I don’t want to let anybody down, but still can’t shake the feeling that it might not be safe for everyone. I worry about audiences coming together in these times,” Young wrote. “My soul tells me it would be wrong to risk having anyone die because they wanted to hear music and be with friends.” And now, in another blog post on his official Neil Young Archives website entitled “Concerts And Covid,” Young has blasted big concert promoters for continuing touring and spreading the virus.

“The big promoters, if they had the awareness, could stop these shows,” Young wrote. “Without that, everyone just keeps going like everything is OK. It’s not. Live Nation, AEG and the other big promoters could shut this down if they could just forget about making money for a while….. They control much of the entertainment business. They hold the power to stop shows where thousands congregate and spread. It’s money that keeps it going. Money that motivates the spreading. The big promoters are responsible for super spreaders.”

“These giants of entertainment just renovated a lot of old venues and spent a lot of cash to do that. Now they can’t stop selling tickets to pay for it,” Young added. “Money and business. That doesn’t make this OK. It’s a bad example. Folks see concerts advertised and think it must be OK to go and mingle. It’s not. These are super-spreader events, irresponsible Freedom Fests. We need Freedom to be safe. Not a bad example. This could be just the beginning.”

Read Young’s full statement below.

Recently I pulled out of Farm Aid for fear that unprotected children may become infected with Covid by folks who went to the show, caught the virus, had no symptoms and returned home to hug their kids or someone else’s kids. I felt that we didn’t know what we were up against and we were endangering others, unprotected innocent children in particular. I know of tours that are out there and have to stop where they are and isolate in motels because one person among them tested positive. I ask myself, why are they out there?

Money and business. These two need each other. This has been the American way for years and years. Now it has turned on the country in a new way.

Garth Brooks and others like him have been responsible and pulled back from doing more shows. That’s a good example. But it will take the big promoters and managers/ agents to make the difference. If it’s all about money, I think they should protect the people who are their livelihood.

The big promoters, if they had the awareness, could stop these shows. Without that, everyone just keeps going like everything is OK. It’s not. Live Nation, AEG and the other big promoters could shut this down if they could just forget about making money for a while….. They control much of the entertainment business. They hold the power to stop shows where thousands congregate and spread. It’s money that keeps it going. Money that motivates the spreading. The big promoters are responsible for super spreaders.

These giants of entertainment just renovated a lot of old venues and spent a lot of cash to do that. Now they can’t stop selling tickets to pay for it. Money and business. That doesn’t make this OK. It’s a bad example. Folks see concerts advertised and think it must be OK to go and mingle. It’s not. These are super-spreader events, irresponsible Freedom Fests. We need Freedom to be safe. Not a bad example. This could be just the beginning.

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