AceShowbiz - Neil Young has been forced to withdraw from Farm Aid 2021 over COVID fears.
The rock veteran was billed to perform alongside fellow Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews, in Hartford, Connecticut next month (September 2021), but he has decided it's too risky.
In an online statement, posted to his website on Wednesday, August 18, Young explained he's pulling out of the benefit due to the recent COVID-19 outbreaks caused by the Delta variant.
"Lots is going on in our world right now [sic]," he wrote. "I find myself wondering whether Farm Aid will be safe for everyone with the Covid pandemic surging. I worry about that. I don't want to let anybody down, but still can't shake the feeling that it might not be safe for everyone."
"All you people who can't go to a concert because you still don't feel safe, I stand with you. I don't want you to see me playing and think it's safe now. I don't want to play until you feel safe, and it is indeed, safe. My soul tells me it would be wrong to risk having anyone die because they wanted to hear music and be with friends... no matter where you are, I am with you."
"Do what you must, but think it through. We will be back. There is much work to do together."
Young joins the likes of Stevie Nicks and Garth Brooks, who have recently scrapped gigs over COVID fears. The latter announced the cancellations of his five concerts in Nashville, Tennessee; Cincinnati, Ohio; Charlotte, North Carolina; Baltimore, Maryland, and Boston, Massachusetts on Wednesday, August 18 "with a heavy heart."