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Neil Young angry at London show sponsorship

By | Published on Tuesday 11 December 2018

Neil Young

Neil Young has responded angrily to the announcement that he and Bob Dylan will co-headline one of next summer’s Barclaycard British Summer Time shows in London’s Hyde Park. Not because he won’t, but because he wasn’t ready to announce it.

In a post on his Neil Young Archives website, Young writes to his fans: “You who were taken by surprise waking up to the Bob Dylan/Neil Young Hyde Park concert announcement posted on every outlet except NYA, might wonder why it was not on NYA. And you should. We’re sorry. Like you, I had no idea the announcement was coming that day”.

He continues: “I was still finessing the art for the poster and trying to make sure that all the details of the show were agreeable to me. Then, suddenly, someone jumped the gun. The tickets were put on sale and the announcement was made, all without my knowledge”.

All of the posters for the multi-weekend London concert series feature the same branding, so it’s not clear what poster Young was working on. Although the update does seem to confirm he had at least agreed to play the show, even if he wasn’t ready to announce it. Whether he will now is seemingly in the balance, due to a number of things.

First, Young says that he’s annoyed about the speed with which tickets have gone on sale. He promises fans signed up to the aforementioned Neil Young Archives platform first pre-sale access to all of his shows. However, with this one going on sale without his knowledge, that was not possible. It also seems that, prior to the big announcement, he was unaware that the Barclaycard British Summer Time festival is sponsored by, er, Barclaycard.

“I learned that the show had a sponsor, Barclays Bank, a fossil fuel funding entity”, he says, taking issue with investments made by the wider Barclays business. “That doesn’t work for me … At the moment, we are trying to rectify the situation and will soon update you on the status of the Hyde Park show. We have been talking about requiring a different sponsor as one option”.

Given that Barclaycard is headline sponsor for the whole season of AEG-promoted Hyde Park shows each summer, that request might be tricky to achieve.

Young’s manager Elliot Roberts at Lookout Management subsequently took some of the blame for the mix up. In another post on NYA, he writes: “To say we fell short of our obligations on the announcement and pre-sales for the Hyde Park show is an understatement and we disappointed a lot of people. We lost focus and the entire team at Lookout Management apologises for promises not kept to our subscribers”.

“We have tried to rectify this as best we can by making sure that tickets are available for Neil Young Archives subscribers”, he continues. “I personally really must apologise for this lapse because working as the custodian of Neil Young Archives is very serious to me. Neil’s life’s work has been mine as well. We will make every effort to ensure that this doesn’t happen again”.

Tickets for the show remain on sale, although it’s not clear if all issues – particularly that of sponsorship – are resolved. AEG has not returned a request for comment at the time of going to press.