Music | July 25, 2022 11:54 am

Neil Young Remains Concerned About Pandemic-Era Concert Safety

He's holding off on playing live for a while

Neil Young
Neil Young performs onstage during The 2012 MusiCares Person Of The Year Gala Honoring Paul McCartney at Los Angeles Convention Center.

What’s your take on going to see live music these days? Ask 10 different people who regularly went to shows before the pandemic where they are these days, and you’re likely to get 10 different answers. Some artists have taken to asking audiences to mask up at concerts, while others have brought up the larger economic concerns that leave many artists and venues without easy answers.

And then there’s Neil Young. While some of his associates and collaborators are back on the road, Young has held back on performing live. And now, he’s shed some light on the thought process behind that. As Stereogum reports, Young took to his website to explain why he wouldn’t be playing at this year’s Farm Aid — an annual concert for which he was one of the founders.

Young’s comments came in response to a fan asking him if he’d be making an appearance this year. “I will not be at Farmaid this year. I am not ready for that yet. I don’t think it is very safe in the pandemic,” Young wrote.

“I miss it very much,” he added.

It’s not hard to see why Young’s worried. And given that the pandemic isn’t the only factor affecting touring musicians’ health right now — see also, the way that smoke from fires in France has derailed his one-time collaborators Pearl Jam’s current tour — erring on the side of caution seems understandable.