In Neil Young’s opinion, holding concerts during the pandemic is a bad idea.
Penning a new op-ed on his personal website, the Canadian musician called out concert promoters for staging big events during the rise in coronavirus cases thanks to the delta variant.
“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,” Young said, referring to his decision last month to drop out of the lineup for the Farm Aid Festival.
“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,” the artist continued.
“Garth Brooks and others like him have been responsible and pulled back from doing shows,” Young wrote. “That’s a good example. But it will take big promoters and managers/agents to make the difference. It’s all about the money… 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.”
Young challenged the prompters directly, writing, “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.”
Finally, he added, “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.”
Currently, Live Nation and AEG are both requiring fans to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test before entering events.
Young is one of many artists who have cancelled shows in recent weeks due to the pandemic, including Nine Inch Nails, Stevie Nicks and BTS.