Friday, June 16, 2017

Neil Young will no longer host Bridge School Benefit Concerts

Neil & Pegi Young / Bridge School Benefit Concert 2014

Neil Young has announced that he will no longer host his acoustic Bridge School Benefit Concerts after the thirtieth annual event was held last fall.

Founded in 1986 by Pegi Young and Jim Forderer with help from Dr. Marilyn Buzolich, the Bridge School develops and uses advanced technologies to aid in the instruction of children with disabilities.

The first benefit concert, in 1986, raised the money necessary to start the school, which opened in ’87 after the Youngs had difficulty finding a suitable school for their non-verbal sons, Ben and Zeke, who both have cerebral palsy.

Neil and his ex-wife, Pegi – who split in 2014 after 36 years of marriage – each posted letters on The Bridge School website thanking everyone for their support of the fund-raising initiative.

“The Bridge School Benefit Concert, traditionally held at Shoreline Amphitheatre, will not be held in 2017,” writes Pegi, who also serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the school. “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.”

“Because our mission is of such great importance to so many,” she adds, “we proceed onward with optimism into the future. Stay tuned for updates as we begin to shape what the next steps will be in reaching our endowment goals.”

“After thirty years of hosting the Bridge School Concerts, I would like to say thanks to everyone involved,” began Neil’s message. “Of course, I love the students most of all because the light in their eyes tells me we have been doing the right thing for the last thirty years. We have earned millions of dollars and the school is stable financially, able to go forward although we still need an endowment and would welcome one.”

“Although I will continue in fund raising efforts, for personal reasons beginning this year I will no longer be hosting The Bridge School Concert,” explains Neil. “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.”

You can read full statements by both Neil and Pegi Young at the Bridge School website, where you can also help with making a donation here.

Past performers include Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Tom Petty, Dave Matthews Band and the Foo Fighters, among many others.

A 25th anniversary collection of performances was released in 2011.

While the 2017 Benefit Concert has officially been cancelled, the event’s future moving forward remains unknown.

See also:

Neil Young announces new album Peace Trail
VIDEO: Neil Young joins Paul McCartney for Beatles classics at Desert Trip
Neil Young to reissue four 1970s albums on vinyl
VIDEO: Neil Young and Jimmy Fallon perform on The Tonight Show
Search Neil Young at hennemusic