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Neil Young will not perform at Farm Aid 2022 due to Covid concerns

Neil Young will not be playing at Farm Aid this year. The 76 year old folk-rock legend responded to a fan letter on the Neil Young Archives website, saying, “I am not ready for that yet. I don’t think it is safe in the pandemic. I miss it very much.”

Young co-founded the yearly charity event to aid American farmers, but he had also dropped out of last year’s edition of the concert with worries over the state of Covid across the globe.

This year’s Farm Aid will take place on September 24th in Raleigh, North Carolina. Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Margo Price, Sheryl Crow and Tim Reynolds are all set to participate in the concert, amongst many others.

The Farm Aid website states, “Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985 to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on the land. Dave Matthews joined the Farm Aid Board of Directors in 2001, and Margo Price joined in 2021. Farm Aid has raised more than $64 million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system of agriculture. Farm Aid is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to keep family farmers on the land.”

The event was originally put together after Bob Dylan commented at Live Aid 1985 on farmers in the United States being in danger of losing their farms through mortgage debt. He said, “I hope that some of the money, maybe they can just take a little bit of it, maybe, one or two million, maybe… and use it, say, to pay the mortgages on some of the farms and, the farmers here, owe to the banks.”

The first Farm Aid took place on September 22nd, 1985. Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, B.B. King and Tom Petty, amongst others, took part in the concert to an audience of 80,000 people.