Blog | October 4, 2018

Behind the Scenes at Farm Aid 2018

by Steve Snyder

A lot of exciting things happen backstage at the Farm Aid festival every year. And while you might think it’s a little like Vegas (“what happens backstage at Farm Aid, STAYS backstage at Farm Aid!”) it’s not all fun and games. In fact, it’s mostly work. There are hundreds of people, each with an important role to play: production crew running the show, roadies loading equipment in and out, event staff managing this or that and security keeping a close eye on who’s going where and doing what.

Another thing you’ll see back there is our official autograph operation. We’ve found great ways to fine-tune it over the years to make sure we get every artist’s signature – not an easy task with all that they’re doing – but it’s just another example of how the festival artists go the extra mile to support family farmers. Not only do they donate their talent, but they also take time out of their busy day to grab a Sharpie and add their autograph to each of the memorabilia items we put in front of ‘em.

The artists are especially eager to sign their name when we remind them how all of these very rare or one-of-a-kind items help boost our fundraising efforts. This year, we had eight beautiful guitars – all donated by Gibson, Martin and Epiphone – as well as the official 2018 festival poster (printed by Jakprints), vinyl albums for many of the artists and more.

Early in the morning, we set up camp near our Board Artists’ buses – that’s Willie, Neil, John and Dave, of course – so that they can view and sign the memorabilia as they come off the stage from our Press Event. Then, we move the operation to the dressing rooms to hit up the other artists whenever they’re free throughout the day (between watching other sets, posing with our photo booth props, eating some delicious HOMEGROWN catering or simply catching up with each other). It’s amazing to see the spirit of Willie channeled through everyone’s willingness to offer a few minutes of their time for this important task that raises critical funds to support Farm Aid’s mission.

We posted these incredible items on the Farm Aid auction shop HERE right after they were signed backstage at the festival. So now you – and everyone you know – has the chance to bid on them. But hurry – the bidding ends next Wednesday, October 10!

Check out our auction today!

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