After 30 years at the helm, Neil Young is bowing out of his annual hosting duties for the Bridge School Benefit, a lauded concert event that he and ex-wife Pegi Young conceived. As Variety reports, the former couple also announced that the concert will not take place this year, via the Bridge School's official website.
Pegi Young, who is Bridge School's co-founder and President of the Board of Directors, thanked supporters and organizers for their dedication over the years in a statement accompanying the announcement. "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," she wrote.
Neil Young cited "personal reasons" for his decision to no longer host the event. "Although I will continue in fund raising efforts, for personal reasons beginning this year I will no longer be hosting The Bridge School Concert. I wish everyone the best as the school heads into the future," Young wrote. "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." Read Neil Young and Pegi Young's full statements.
Since 1986, proceeds from the annual concerts – traditionally held at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA – benefited The Bridge School, whose educational programs serve children with severe physical disabilities and speech impairments.
A variety of renowned artists have performed the benefit concert over the years, including David Bowie, Pearl Jam, Guns N' Roses, Jack White, Dixie Chicks, Ryan Adams and many more. Last year, three-time participants Metallica and Neil Young performed Buffalo Springfield's "Mr. Soul." In 2015, E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren returned for a fourth time and performed "Believe" with Young. For its 25th anniversary, the Bridge School Benefit released a three-DVD, two-CD box set.
It's unclear if the concert
series will return in subsequent years or if it is permanently canceled.