After spending decades spearheading Farm Aid, Neil Young and Willie Nelson will once again team up for a benefit concert protesting a proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would cut through the historic Ponca Trail of Tears in Nebraska. On September 27th, the two Rock and Roll Hall of Famers will stage their "Harvest the Hope" concert at a farm outside Neligh, Nebraska, with all proceeds from the show going to Bold Nebraska, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Cowboy and Indian Alliance. $50 tickets for the Harvest the Hope concert go on sale Wednesday, August 20th at Bold Nebraska's official site.
In addition to the imposition the proposed pipeline would have on tribal land, farm owners in the area are also concerned about the environmental footprint if energy company TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline is approved, from contaminating groundwater to pollution. A handful of farmers along the pipeline's planned route have refused to sell their land to TransCanada, including Art and Helen Tanderup, whose Neligh, Nebraska farm will host the 10,000 attendees.
"Farmers, ranchers and tribes that have been standing up to TransCanada are rock stars in my eyes," Bold Nebraska director Jane Kleeb said in a statement. "Now we will have the honor to have music legends Neil Young and Willie Nelson stand with us against this risky pipeline that threatens our water and our livelihoods. It is our hope that President Obama in the end stands with us over Big Oil." Because the proposed pipeline also would cross international borders, President Obama would have to sign off on the project, Omaha.com reports.
Young has long been one of rock's most environmentally conscious rockers – the front page of his website currently features an essay on organic cotton T-shirts and the smart laundry practices – and he's previously lent support to Native American tribes in his native Canada who are also fighting against Big Oil. Last spring, Young traveled to Washington D.C. to protest the Keystone XL pipeline, which is where he met Art Tanderup and the "Harvest for Hope" concert was conceived. Young and Nelson hadn't performed together in Nebraska since the third annual Farm Aid visited Lincoln's Memorial Stadium in 1987.