Neil Young: Concerts Are Super Spreader Events Held by Promoters More Concerned With Profits Than Safety

by on August 30, 2021 · 5 comments

in Health

Neil Young pulled out of Farm Aid earlier in August due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In an August 23 op-ed, Young elaborated on his concerns which accused large concert promoters of valuing profits over safety.

Here is Neil Young’s op-ed:

By Neil Young

Recently I pulled out of Farm Aid for fear that unprotected children may become infected with Covid by folks who went to the show, caught the virus, had no symptoms and returned home to hug their kids or someone else’s kids. I felt that we didn’t know what we were up against and we were endangering others, unprotected innocent children in particular. I know of tours that are out there and have to stop where they are and isolate in motels because one person among them tested positive. I ask myself, why are they out there?

Money and business. These two need each other. This has been the American way for years and years. Now it has turned on the country in a new way.

Garth Brooks and others like him have been responsible and pulled back from doing more shows. That’s a good example. But it will take the big promoters and managers/ agents to make the difference. If it’s all about money, I think they should protect the people who are their livelihood.

The big promoters, if they had the awareness, could stop these shows. Without that, everyone just keeps going like everything is OK. It’s not. Live Nation, AEG and the other big promoters could shut this down if they could just forget about making money for a while They control much of the entertainment business. They hold the power to stop shows where thousands congregate and spread. It’s money that keeps it going. Money that motivates the spreading. The big promoters are responsible for super spreaders.

These giants of entertainment just renovated a lot of old venues and spent a lot of cash to do that. Now they can’t stop selling tickets to pay for it. Money and business. That doesn’t make this OK. It’s a bad example. Folks see concerts advertised and think it must be OK to go and mingle. It’s not. These are super-spreader events, irresponsible Freedom Fests. We need Freedom to be safe. Not a bad example. This could be just the beginning.

According to Andy Greene in Rolling Stone:

Artists like Nine Inch Nails, Pixies, Stevie Nicks, and BTS have all cancelled their touring plans recently because of rising Covid cases spurred by the Delta variant, but many large acts — including Dead and Company, Phish, Dave Matthews Band, the Rolling Stones, Green Day, and Genesis — are going ahead with their tours.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert Edwards August 30, 2021 at 10:44 am

Neil is a good guy.


Sorry not Sorry August 30, 2021 at 11:22 am

Neil is a good guy. I can’t deny that. What is wrong though with throwing a bone to the people that don’t wear tin foil hats and are responsible? Mt. Joy released a statement last week that “until further notice, only people that can prove they have been vaccinated will be admitted to their shows”. I know, there are people selling fake vaccination records out there, but there will be far, far, less unvaccinated people at one of their shows then a show without restrictions. Maybe the answer isn’t to cancel almost every show, but to reward those of us that are responsible citizens. Companies still need to make some money, people still need to be employed and feed their families.


Angie August 30, 2021 at 4:19 pm

I was at the Green Day show at Petco last night. My daughter and I got the tickets in 2019 and were excited to finally go. I was very surprised to see zero COVID protocol and so many people without masks at a jam packed show. There were two kids who looked under 12, without masks sitting with their mask-less parents in the row in front of us. It horrified me! My daughter and I are fully vaxxed and wore masks the entire time, we figured our risk was minimal, but I won’t be surprised if cases go up from this show. It looked sold out, or pretty close.

Requiring masks at the very least should be the norm for all of us to enjoy some fun.


Michael A Jacobs September 2, 2021 at 6:22 am

There is an argument to be made that vax-required events could drive vax rates, but that is undermined by the uncertainty that still remains about the ability of vaccinated people to transmit the virus to vax-ineligible kids through an asymptomatic infection. Given that, putting on large events additionally (even if unintentionally) sends a confusing message about the importance of taking COVID seriously. There are a five more variants of interests being tracked after delta, so this is not even close to being over.


Peter from South O September 2, 2021 at 8:17 am

For crying out loud. There is no “uncertainty” about the ability of the vaccinated yet infected to spread the delta variant.


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