The legendary singer has yet to make a statement or provide a reason for either cancellation, which has no doubt left fans feeling peak levels of blues. But festival organisers say the news “comes as a great disappointment to Bluesfest”.
In a statement posted to Instagram (below), Bluesfest Festival Director Peter Noble says:
“Although I have been aware of this as a possibility for a couple of weeks now, I have been appealing to Neil’s management for him to play the confirmed concert. Unfortunately, this is now not going to happen. Whilst details for the cancellation remain sketchy, from what I can gather Neil has decided to take 2017 off from touring.
“At the moment, there isn’t an official statement from Neil’s management regarding the cancellation. I have no reason to believe this is due to any illness, I have been advised he is tired from recent touring, and I surmise wants to have some down time.”
In a statement, the Bluesfest team say they’re hard at work scouting a replacement to fill Young’s cowboy boots on the Friday night headliner slot, but in the meantime, heartbroken fans who were heading to the Byron Bay bash just to see Young will be offered refunds on their tickets.
Still, Bluesfest is urging “Friday Single Day Bluesfest patrons to hold on to their Tickets until the new artist announcement is released soon”.
“Once the new artist announcement for Friday has been made, Single Day Friday Ticket refunds will still be available for 7 days after that,” organisers explain.
Hmmm. Must have something exciting in the works, then.
“There will be a new artist announcement coming very soon!” they promise.
Catch the full updated lineup for Bluesfest 2017, below.
View this post on Instagram
NEIL YOUNG CANCELS BLUESFEST 2017 DATE! A statement from your Festival Director, Peter Noble…. "It is with a heavy heart I announce this morning that Neil Young has cancelled his performance at Bluesfest 2017. Although I have been aware of this as a possibility for a couple of weeks now, I have been appealing to Neil's management for him to play the confirmed concert. Unfortunately, this is now not going to happen. Whilst details for the cancellation remain sketchy, from what I can gather Neil has decided to take 2017 off from touring. At the moment, there isn't an official statement from Neil's management regarding the cancellation. I have no reason to believe this is due to any illness, I have been advised he is tired from recent touring, and I surmise wants to have some down time. Bluesfest had its own contract with Neil's representatives for the performance, we paid the required deposit, and had full permission to announce the Bluesfest performance. I note that an announcement saying Neil would not be touring occurred recently by Frontier Touring. I do want to say again, that the Bluesfest contracted performance occurred directly with Neil Young's representatives. Of course, we are in negotiations with other great artists to play, and we will be releasing a new artist announcement soon. I understand that no one can replace Neil Young, and that there will be disappointment as a result of his cancelling. Refunds are now available for Single Day Ticket buyers for the day of Neil's performance. They will be available until a week after the new artist announcement. We ask ticket buyers to hold their Single Day Friday Tickets until the new announcement has been made! I would like to say in closing, that we are very disappointed at making this announcement. I feel I have done everything I can, to cause the concert to be performed. We value our audience, and their assumption, that when buying their ticket, they should have an expectation the advertised performance will occur. In this case, that has not occurred, and I apologise, even though the events were out of my control. For the the info, please refer to the eCard #linkinprofile
2017 Bluesfest Lineup
Miles Electric Band
Patti Smith And Her Band Acoustic Set
Billy Bragg And Joe Henry
Tony Joe White
The Record Company
The Mountain Goats
The California Honeydrops
Neil Young & Promise Of The Real
The Doobie Brothers
Mary J. Blige
Corinne Bailey Rae
Nahko And Medicine For The People
Zac Brown Band
Patti Smith And Her Band Perform Horses
Buddy Guy (Exclusive)
Mavis Staples (Exclusive)
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
St. Paul & The Broken Bones
Beth Hart (Exclusive)
Booker T Presents The Stax Records Revue
Rickie Lee Jones
+ More to be announced
Tickets on sale now
Thursday, 13th – Monday, 17th April
Byron Bay, NSW
> been appealing to Neil's management for him to play the confirmed concert > https://t.co/VAZ6jYyhjm
— Bluesfest Byron Bay (@BluesfestByron) December 1, 2016