Pegi and Neil Young cancel Bridge School Benefit concert in 2017

Bridge School Benefit, Bridge School, 30th Bridge School Benefit, 30th annual Bridge School Benefit, Roger Waters, My Morning Jacket, Neil Young, Lucius

Photo: Paige K. Parsons

Pegi and Neil Young have canceled the annual Bridge School Benefit concert in 2017—and possibly beyond, the Bridge School announced. The annual benefit show is a nonprofit charity event held every October at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View. It celebrated its 30th anniversary last year.

Neither Young nor the school explained the cause for this year’s cancelation, though its future has been in doubt ever since Young and his wife, musician and concert co-creator Pegi Young, divorced two years ago.

Neil and Pegi Young, started the show to help finances of the school, which treats youths with communicative and physical impairments, including their son Ben, who is quadriplegic and has cerebral palsy. The first concert was held in 1986 and this is only the second time in its 30-year span that the concert was canceled. Pegi Young is the president of the school’s board of directors. Both left separate messages on the school’s website.

“Although I will continue in fund raising [sic] efforts, for personal reasons beginning this year I will no longer be hosting The Bridge School Concert,” Young wrote. “I wish everyone the best as the school heads into the future. My heart is with each and every child we have had the honor to serve and those we will continue to serve, and your parents, siblings, and extended families.”

Pegi Young thanked her former husband in her message.

“Because our mission is of such great importance to so many, we proceed onward with optimism into the future,” she wrote. “Stay tuned for updates as we begin to shape what the next steps will be in reaching our endowment goals.”

The Bridge School show has repeatedly been one of the most anticipated and unique concerts in the Bay Area, which allowed artists to perform acoustically, and to collaborate with each other on stage, as Bridge School students set on stage. The performers would frequently sing directly to them. Over the years, many of the biggest names in pop and rock have participated, such as Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam, David Bowie, Brian Wilson, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Metallica, Dave Matthews Band and Willie Nelson.

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