Willie Nelson had scheduled a show on April 28 at the The Backyard in Austin, TX to celebrate his 80th birthday which is two days later.
That celebration took a back seat when a fertilizer plant exploded in West, Texas, just five miles from Aurora where Willie grew up.
Nelson has announced that the proceeds from the concert will be given to the West Volunteer Fire Department who valiantly fought the blaze and who lost five of their volunteer crew of 33 in the explosion.
Willie issues a statement on the tragedy:
“West is just a few miles from my hometown of Abbott. I was born and raised here and it was my backyard growing up. This is my community. These friends and neighbors have always been and are still a part of my life. My heart is praying for the community that we call home.” – Willie Nelson
Texas Monthly’s Andy Langer spoke with Nelson who said some of his stomping grounds in West were wiped out by the explosion. As far as the show:
Anybody who can’t buy a ticket can just pretend they did and send the money to the West Fire Department. It’s a small something, but not enough. There’s other things we’ll think of. People are generous. Over the years, from Farm Aid and other benefits, I’ve learned people want to be asked to help, but they need to know their money is going to the right place.
Joining Nelson at the show will be Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, the Paula Nelson Band and Folk Uke.
Read more at VVN Music