This year’s Bridge School Benefit will feature performances by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Queens of the Stone Age, My Morning Jacket, the Killers, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, Fun., Heart and Jenny Lewis. Per tradition, every artist will play a completely acoustic set. The show will be held October 26th and October 27th at the Shoreline Ampitheater in Mountain View, CA. Tickets go on sale September 13th at 10:00 AM.
Bridge School Benefit 2013 will mark Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s first performance since their Freedom of Speech tour wrapped in September of 2006. CSNY, Elvis Costello and My Morning Jacket have played the Bridge School Benefit in the past, but this year will mark the first performances for the rest of the artists. (The Killers will only play on October 26th. All the others will be at both shows.)
The Bridge School Benefit was first held in 1986 and has been staged (with the exception of 1987) every year since. It’s always 100% acoustic, leading to completely unique sets from A-list artists like Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, the Who, Metallica, Arcade Fire, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Tom Petty, Simon and Garfunkel and countless others.
Neil and Pegi Young founded the Bridge School when they were unable to find adequate schooling for their physically challenged son Ben. “He was in a program for special ed students at a school and had some good friends,” Pegi told Rolling Stone in 2010. “But they decided to move the special ed program off campus. This isn’t unusual and I was really sad about it. I was talking to [Neil Young’s manager] Elliot [Roberts] and he said, ‘Why don’t you just start your own school, Peg?’ And I was like, ‘Okay, there’s an idea.’ It just kind of blossomed from there.”
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They held the first show in 1986 to raise funds for the new school. “Neil came up with the acoustic format idea,” said Pegi. “It was genius. Nobody was doing that at the time. This is before MTV Unplugged or any of that. It keeps costs down, and it took artists outside their comfort zone. Looking back, that first concert was an exercise in simplicity compared to what it is these days.”