FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 11, 2011, 2p.m. CDT

CONTACT:
Maria Enie
(724) 816-3368
After May 11: (202) 248-5460
menie@vancomm.com

Willie Nelson, Farm Aid Bringing Music and Food Festival to KCK

Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews will headline first concert at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on Aug. 13

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Farm Aid announced today that it will bring its annual benefit concert to Kansas City, marking the first time that the organization will stage the event in Kansas. Farm Aid 2011 will be the first concert event at the new LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, which opens June 9.

“I’m looking forward to bringing my friends together in Kansas for the first time to honor family farmers” said Farm Aid president Willie Nelson. “Farm Aid celebrates the independent family farmers and ranchers who make this country strong, and we know we can only fix the challenges our country faces with the know-how of family farmers.”

Farm Aid 2011 will feature Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews on Saturday, Aug. 13. Other top artists will soon be announced. The concert benefits Farm Aid’s mission to keep family farmers on the land to guarantee an agricultural system that ensures farmers a fair living, strengthens our communities, protects our natural resources and delivers good food for all.

The concert event will celebrate music, family farmers and good food, and will again feature HOMEGROWN concessions—family-farm identified, local and organic foods. Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Village will showcase hands-on activities that give concertgoers a chance to meet farmers, get their hands dirty, and learn how family farmers enrich our soil, protect our water and connect us to our roots.

“Willie, John, Neil and Dave stand up to say that our country needs family farmers,” said Carolyn Mugar, executive director of Farm Aid. “Farm Aid 2011 is an opportunity for everyone to stand up with them. There is a strong culture of agriculture here in Kansas—rural and urban—and a growing movement to bring good food to everyone. We’re proud to bring Farm Aid 2011 to the Sunflower State and shine a spotlight on the family farmers and ranchers whose hard work and innovations are essential for all of us.”

“Farm Aid is a great inaugural concert announcement, as it builds upon a cause platform we started with LIVESTRONG Sporting Park,” said Robb Heineman, CEO of Sporting Club. “This unique opportunity for the region is just the first of many great events we will host, and we are excited for Farm Aid to kick it off.”

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and Kansas City Mayor Joe Reardon welcomed Farm Aid to Kansas and highlighted the value of family farmers and good food to the state.

Since 1985, Farm Aid has traveled the country, staging annual concerts and supporting organizations that work locally, regionally and nationally to strengthen family farms. Despite the recent increase in commodity prices, family farmers still face an uphill struggle. In recent years, Farm Aid has received record numbers of phone calls to its hotline from farmers in need due to volatile farm prices, tight credit markets, escalating costs and disasters, such as the recent floods, droughts and tornadoes across the Midwest and South. Farm Aid’s annual benefit concert is its primary event to raise funds in support of the organization’s work.

Tickets for Farm Aid 2011 will go on sale Friday, May 20, at 10 a.m. CDT and are available by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets for Farm Aid 2011 are $29 for general admission; $39, $69 and $99 for reserved seats; and $149 for a limited number of premium seats. Ticket prices include a $4 facility fee. Parking is free. Additional ticket information can be found at www.livestrongsportingpark.com and www.farmaid.org.

Farm Aid will offer special advance sale tickets to Farm Aid members beginning May 12. To become a member of Farm Aid, visit www.farmaid.org.

Farm Aid welcomes the participation of the local business community and offers corporate sponsorship opportunities. For more information, contact Glenda Yoder at glenda@farmaid.org.

Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual concert to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. Since 1985, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised more than $39 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.

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**Editors and Producers Note: Advance credentials are required for all media to attend Farm Aid 2011. Please visit www.farmaid.org/media by Friday, July 15 to apply.**