By Hayden Wright
For 30 years, Neil Young has hosted an annual benefit concert for the Bridge School, a non-profit facility that serves students with severe speech and physical impairments. This year, the show will not go on. Young and the school released joint statements thanking supporters for their years of contributions and confirming that this year’s benefit is canceled.
“After thirty years of hosting the Bridge School Concerts, I would like to say thanks to everyone involved,” Young said. “Of course, I love the students most of all because the light in their eyes tells me we have been doing the right thing for the last thirty years. We have earned millions of dollars and the school is stable financially, able to go forward although we still need an endowment and would welcome one.”
“Although I will continue in fundraising efforts, for personal reasons beginning this year I will no longer be hosting The Bridge School Concert,” he added. “I wish everyone the best as the school heads into the future.”
In the past, Bridge School benefits have drawn David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, The Who, Arcade Fire and other rock luminaries.
“Because our mission is of such great importance to so many, we proceed onward with optimism into the future,” said Pegi Young, Bridge School Board of Directors President and Neil’s ex-wife. “Stay tuned for updates as we begin to shape what the next steps will be in reaching our endowment goals.”
The Youngs founded Bridge School together in 1986 when their non-verbal son Ben (who suffers from cerebral palsy) couldn’t find a suitable school. Neil and Pegi Young divorced in 2014 after 40 years of marriage.