Past Farm Aid Concerts

Amazing concerts since 1985.

Farm Aid is the longest running benefit concert series in America, inspiring millions of Americans.

Farm Aid 1985 Crowd

The crowd at Farm Aid’s 1985 concert.


Farm Aid

The Beginning, September 22, 1985 – Champaign, Illinois

Farm Aid started as an idea at the Live Aid Concert when Bob Dylan said on stage, “Wouldn’t it be great if we did something for our own farmers right here in America?” Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp agreed that family farmers were in dire need of assistance and decided to plan a concert for America. The show was put together in six weeks and was held on September 22, 1985 in Champaign, Illinois before a crowd of 80,000 people. It raised over $7 million for America’s family farmers. Performers included Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Loretta Lynn, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and many more.


Farm Aid II

July 4, 1986 – Austin, Texas

In early 1986, Farm Aid issued an invitation to all leading farm organizations to come to a planning meeting for a national farm conference. The result was the United Farmer and Rancher Congress (UFRC), in September, 1986. Farmers and ranchers came by plane, bus, train and car from nearly every rural area in the United States to be in St. Louis, Missouri for three days. They represented rural America in crisis and they came searching for solutions to the problems they were facing. The UFRC provided an educational forum and a unifying experience. Many participants left infused with renewed hope and spirit in spite of the continuing struggle. Farmers and ranchers carried forward the ideas discussed in St. Louis and organized follow-up county and state meetings to share what they had learned. Farm Aid II was held on July 4, 1986 in Austin, Texas. It was shown live on VH-1 and millions of viewers tuned in to watch performances by Alabama, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Beach Boys and more.


Farm Aid III

September 19, 1987 – Lincoln, Nebraska

Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp went with a group of family farmers to testify in front of the United States Congress about the state of family farming in America. As a result of the efforts of Farm Aid and family farm leaders, Congress passed the Agricultural Credit Act which said that the Farmer’s Home Administration (FmHA) could not foreclose on any family farmer unless the FmHA would make more money through foreclosure that they would by investing in making the farm profitable. This was a major step toward fair treatment of family farmers. Farm Aid III was held in Lincoln, Nebraska on September 19, 1987. Performers included Steppenwolf, Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett and John Denver, and even the Grateful Dead performed live via satellite feed.


1989… Farm Aid On the Road

In 1989, Farm Aid President Willie Nelson took Farm Aid on the road for 16 of his own show dates, holding press conferences at each site to bring attention to the ongoing farm crisis, local farm issues, and future farm policy. Spotlighting area farmers and their struggles, he invited the media to meet with local farmers and discuss the issues facing them, drawing support for local Farm Aid-funded organizations. Farmers from New York to Oregon met with Willie and the media to assert that the farm crisis was not over, and that the effects were still being felt across rural America.


Farm Aid IV

April 7, 1990 – Indianapolis, Indiana

Elton john 1990

Elton John in 1990 – photo by Paul Natkin

Selling out in 90 minutes, Farm Aid’s fourth concert in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 7 brought 70 artists together with farmers, environmental and consumer advocates. A new message emerged from that effort: the well-being of our land, food and water supply depends on a network of family farmers who care about how our food is grown. The concert was televised live on The Nashville Network, and a two-hour highlight was re-broadcast to ten million viewers on CBS. The powerhouse musical line-up included Bonnie Raitt, Elton John, Don Henley, Crosby Stills & Nash, and Garth Brooks.


1991

Farm Aid responded quickly with financial and media support for dairy farmers who suffered a devastating drop in prices. Dairy farmers organized around the country in an effort to survive. Farm Aid joined Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream in a consumer campaign to help save family farms. It was Farm Aid’s first full year of publishing its newsletter, the Farm Aid Update, for donors and friends.


Farm Aid V

March 14, 1992 – Irving, Texas

Neil young 1992

Neil Young in 1992 – photo by Paul Natkin

“Economic Recovery starts in the Heartland with Family Farmers” was Farm Aid’s theme for 1992. Farmers Home Administration sent out 40,000 foreclosure notices to troubled farms. The impact of the loss of these farms on rural communities was devastating. Every five farms that closed down took one small business with them. Small towns across America were being boarded up. Schools, hospitals and farm houses were left empty. Willie Nelson and Farm Aid helped to bring this to the attention of the new Clinton Administration. Farm Aid joined family farm organizations in expressing hope for greater access to this administration in order to change federal policies to support family farming. Farm Aid also staged its fifth concert on March 14, 1992, at the Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas at the invitation of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. A crowd of almost 40,000 heard over fifty acts perform, including Paul Simon, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, the Highwaymen, Lorrie Morgan and Ricky Van Shelton.


Farm Aid VI

April 24, 1993 – Ames, Iowa

All of America watched as the Flood of ’93 left thousands of Midwest families homeless. Heavy rains caused the Mississippi and Missouri rivers to rise up and overflow their banks, swallowing entire towns along the way. Eight million acres of crops were destroyed and 20 million acres were damaged. With their backs already against the wall due to heavy debt and low farm prices, Midwest family farmers had few resources left to deal with the effects of the flooding. In response to the flood, Farm Aid created the Family Farm Disaster Fund to support organizations that worked directly with farm families stricken by the flood. When farmers needed help to avoid foreclosure due to losses from the flood, Farm Aid-funded groups were there to help them save their farms. Farm Aid VI, held in Ames, Iowa on April 24, featured performances by Bruce Hornsby, Bryan Adams, Ringo Starr, Marty Stuart, Martina McBride, the Highwaymen, and Dwight Yoakam.


Farm Aid VII

September 18, 1994 – New Orleans, Louisiana

During 1994, our country lost over 500 farms a week. Because of the urgent situation on thousands of farms, Farm Aid continued to fund a network of support for family farmers in financial distress. Attention was brought to the plight of farm families through the publicity surrounding the case of the Krikava family. Ernest Krikava, a 60-year-old Nebraska farmer, was sentenced to prison for illegally selling his hogs during his farm’s bankruptcy proceedings. The family had acted out of desperation. They had no food for themselves, their hogs were starving and the bank refused to release funds to operate the farm. Ernest Krikava was later pardoned by President Clinton, due in part to the advocacy work of Willie Nelson and Farm Aid. Ernest’s son Kevin was Willie’s guest at Farm Aid VII which was held in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 18. Performers included the Neville Brothers, Spin Doctors, Gin Blossoms, John Conlee and Kris Kristofferson.


Farm Aid ’95: 10th Anniversary

October 1, 1995 – Louisville, Kentucky

John mellencamp 1995

John Mellencamp in 1995 – photo by Jason Meyer

In 1995 the farm crisis continued to force more than 500 farmers off their land every week. Farm Aid hosted a national town hall meeting where family farm leaders urged President Clinton to veto any farm bill that would force family farmers from their land. After the meeting, Clinton responded in writing, saying: “Our nation’s agricultural success comes from the hardworking men and women who till the fields and grow our food, and they deserve our respect, gratitude and support.” In addition to the meeting, Farm Aid’s 10th Anniversary show in Louisville, Kentucky drew 47,000 supporters to a sold out concert and raised over $1 million. Top artists Hootie and the Blowfish, Dave Matthews Band, BlackHawk, John Conlee, Supersuckers, and Steve Earle rocked with Farm Aid founders Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young in Louisville’s Cardinal Stadium on October 1. TNN broadcast the 10th Anniversary show on Monday, October 2.


Farm Aid ’96

October 12, 1996 – Columbia, South Carolina

A string of natural disasters in 1996, including a drought in the Great Plains and Hurricane Bertha in the Carolinas dealt substantial blows to family farm income and made it harder than ever for farmers to make a living from their land. Farm Aid coordinated a farmer to farmer haylift in which farmers from the Carolinas sent hay out to drought stricken farmers in Texas and Oklahoma. Farm Aid ’96 was held in Columbia, South Carolina. As Farm Aid founder Willie Nelson stated at the news conference, “We are proud to hold Farm Aid ’96 in Columbia, South Carolina, a region with a rich agricultural tradition and hard working men and women who struggle every day to make a living on the land. We hope this concert will remind the nation that we need to change the way we think about the food we eat and the people who grow it. It’s important that we have someone there growing the food who cares for the land.” The concert took place on October 12 and included Columbia’s own Hootie and the Blowfish, the Beach Boys, Martina McBride, Grand Ole Opry star John Conlee, and Jewel. Once again, TNN: The Nashville Network, televised the show.


Farm Aid ’97

October 4, 1997 – Tinley Park, Illinois

Farm families across the country struggled in 1997 as weather related disasters including blizzards, floods and late frosts struck with a vengeance. Farm Aid’s task was to mobilize support for farmers and ranchers that were struggling to feed their livestock. This year also included a rally led by Farm Aid President Willie Nelson on March 20 in Des Moines, Iowa, that drew hundreds of farmers to the door step of the National Pork Producers Council delivering the message “Family Farms – Yes, Factory Farms – No”. Farm Aid ’97, originally scheduled for Irving, Texas, was moved to The New World Music Theater in Tinley Park, Illinois for a sold out show. The concert took place on October 4 and performers included Dave Matthews Band, John Fogerty, Beck, and The Allman Brothers Band. The concert marked Farm Aid’s return to Illinois where the first concert had been held in 1985. TNN carried the concert live.


Farm Aid ’98

October 3, 1998 – Tinley Park, Illinois

Farm Aid worked to shine a spotlight on the worst farm crisis since Farm Aid’s 1985 birth. Ice storms in the Northeast and drought in Oklahoma and Texas contributed to farm family troubles and Farm Aid pitched in with emergency help for family farmers in need. Farm Aid contributed to the efforts of the Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment in their fight to end factory farm production of hogs and to achieve equitable pricing for their production. Willie Nelson stated “In rural America, the farm economy is the economy. If we don’t pay attention right now to what’s happening to farmers, we’re not just going to lose them, we’ll lose the thousands of schools, businesses, and churches that depend on family farming for their survival.” To fight the crisis, top artists including Phish, Steve Earle and the Del McCoury Band, and Wilco returned to Tinley Park, Illinois for Farm Aid ’98 on October 3, 1998. Best Buy presented the show and it was carried live for the first time on CMT: Country Music Television.


Farm Aid ’99

September 12, 1999 – Bristow, Virginia

In 1999, Farm Aid ventured into the Washington D.C. area for the first time. The concert energized farmers and advocates and became a rallying point for a flurry of events. Hundreds of farmers came to Washington bearing an urgent message for legislators: “Act now to stop the destruction of family farms!” Their primary target was the “Freedom to Farm” bill that had been in place since 1996. This bill had resulted in record profits for multinational grain traders and big food manufacturing companies while leaving family farmers bankrupt. The Farm Aid events inspired farmers to keep on fighting for fair prices and educated the public about important farm issues. The concert aired live on CMT: Country Music Television for the second time. The stellar lineup included Susan Tedeschi, Keb’Mo’, Deana Carter, the Barenaked Ladies, Dave Matthews Band, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and others. The music was so good that it went on for an extra half hour!


Farm Aid 2000

September 17, 2000 – Bristow, Virginia

After a successful show at the Nissan Pavilion in 1999, Farm Aid brought its 15th Anniversary show to an enthusiastic audience in Virginia in 2000. Farm Aid 2000 was blessed with a sunny day and a lineup which included Crosby, Stills Nash & Young, Arlo Guthrie, Sawyer Brown, Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt, the Barenaked Ladies and even Tipper Gore on drums with Willie Nelson and Family! The day began with a forum that included farmers and presidential candidates. Before the concert, Willie Nelson issued a Letter to America urging voters and candidates to remember family farmers on election day. During the concert on CMT: Country Music Television, we aired a piece about the dangers of synthetic Bovine Growth Hormone or rBGH. As always, Farm Aid used the concert as not only entertainment, but also as an opportunity to educate people about important food and farm issues that affect us all.


Farm Aid 2001: A Concert for America

September 29, 2001 – Noblesville, Indiana

Dave matthews 2001

Dave Matthews 2001

When asked about Farm Aid returning to Indiana, John Mellencamp, an Indiana native, said “I’m proud to bring Farm Aid back to Indiana, America’s heartland. The enthusiasm and support for farmers in this part of the country is what inspires us all to keep working to protect rural America and all of the farms, families, and small businesses that make this country thrive.” Taking place just 18 days after September 11, this was a special Farm Aid concert, renamed “A Concert for America.” Farm Aid 2001 offered Americans a chance to focus on family farmers as one of the true cornerstones of our national strength. Keeping farmers on the land protects a diversified, local system of food production that benefits all Americans, especially in times of adversity. To help those affected by the September 11 tragedy, Farm Aid publicized a special fund to rebuild farmers markets destroyed in the World Trade Center attack.


Farm Aid ’02

September 21, 2002 – Burgettstown, Pennsylvania

Tickets for the 2002 concert sold out within 48 hours of going on sale. The Pennsylvania show marked the first time that a Farm Aid concert was held in the Northeast. The state is known for its strong family farmer tradition and its commitment to sustainable agriculture. Farm Aid worked with local organizations, farmers, and citizens, to highlight some of the critical issues facing Pennsylvania family farmers. On the eve of the 2002 concert, Farm Aid hosted a public forum in Pittsburgh, which brought together over 400 family farmers and regional residents.


Farm Aid ’03

September 7, 2003 – Columbus, Ohio

Willie nelson and neil young 2003

Willie Nelson and Neil Young 2003 – Rick Diamond / WireImage

Tickets to Farm Aid’s 16th concert sold out in two weeks. The stellar lineup included Farm Aid veterans and first time artists. In addition to Willie, John, Dave, and Neil, joined by Crazy Horse, Emmylou Harris performed – her first time back since a three year stint at Farm Aids I, II, and III. Hootie & the Blowfish, Los Lonely Boys also returned this year. Newcomers included Sheryl Crow, Brooks & Dunn, Trick Pony, Billy Bob Thornton and Daniel Lanois. The concert’s title sponsor was Silk Soymilk, whose parent company White Wave buys soybeans from family farmers who use sustainable practices. Farm Aid offered the crowd the opportunity to buy family farmed food from Patchwork Family Farms and Organic Valley. Chipotle Mexican Grill also sold burritos with family farm pork from Niman Ranch.


Farm Aid ’04

September 18, 2004 – Seattle, Washington

The White River Amphitheater on the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation south of Seattle hosted Farm Aid 2004 Presented by Silk Soymilk. Even though theconcert was held in one of the farthest corners of the United States, people pilgrimaged to the show from at least 33 states and Canada. Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews invited Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Jerry Lee Lewis, Trick Pony, bluesman Tony Coleman, Blue Merle, Canadian twins Tegan and Sara, Kate Voegle and Kitty Jerry to play on the Farm Aid stage. Farm Aid hosted activities in Seattle’s Pike Place Market for 10 days leading up to the concert to celebrate family farm produced food. The main focus was on Farm Aid’s Ten Ways Campaign, a public information effort aimed at helping people understand the important link between family farmers and fresh, high quality food.


Farm Aid 2005: 20th Anniversary

September 18, 2005 – Tinley Park, Illinois

Farm Aid returned to Tinley Park, Illinois for the third time on September 18. A press event launched the day, before 28,000 fans filled the amphitheatre. At the press event Farm Aid recounted 20 years of solid work and announced the release of Farm Aid: A Song for America. The book chronicles 20 years of the Farm Aid music that galvanized the grassroots movement for family farms and good food. Farmers and advocates also tallied Farm Aid’s accomplishments, from direct aid to farmers in trouble, to fighting factory farms to building up the good food movement. Concert-goers brought donations of food for Katrina victims. The music on the Farm Aid stage rolled and rocked all day and a happy crowd broke all records purchasing Farm Aid merchandise. The concert concluded a full week of activities from Champaign to Chicago, with farm visits, music and chefs at Chicago’s farmers markets, films at the Cultural Center, a tractor parade leading to the County Fair at the Garfield Conservatory, and over 20 restaurants offering their guests a “family farm” menu item.


Farm Aid 2006

September 30, 2006 – Camden, New Jersey

Artists performing at Farm Aid 2006 Presented by Silk Soymilk urged the sold-out crowd to buy family farm foods and to support Farm Aid. Farm Aid leads a growing movement that is helping more people gain access to good food. Farm Aid kicked off its annual benefit concert with a press event that featured pioneers in the good food movement. Young farmers and food activists, and a school lunch lady taking on public school food policy, shared a new agriculture vision focused on family farms and sustainable practices being led by today’s young people. Farm Aid launched its 2006 concert celebration with events across greater Philadelphia and Camden, NJ that focused on family farm foods. Activities introduced area residents to their local farmers; taught students about the importance of fresh, family farm foods; and gleaned farm vegetables for those in need locally.


Farm Aid 2007: A HOMEGROWN Festival

September 9, 2007 – New York City, New York

Farm Aid 2007: A HOMEGROWN Festival was held at Randall’s Island in New York City on September 9, 2007. A crowd of more than 26,000 enjoyed performances by Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds. Other artists included Gregg Allman, The Allman Brothers Band, Matisyahu, Counting Crows, Guster, The Derek Trucks Band, Warren Haynes, Billy Joe Shaver, Montgomery Gentry, Supersuckers, Pauline Reese, Danielle Evin, The Ditty Bops, Jimmy Sturr, Paula Nelson, 40 Points, and Jesse Lenat. This concert was the first major music event to serve local, organic and family-farm foods at our concessions and backstage. The concessions ingredients were local, organic and/or sourced from family farms. Concert-goers also enjoyed Farm Aid’s first HOMEGROWN Village, which offered hands-on interactive experiences with family farmers and sustainable family-farm practices.


Farm Aid 2008

September 20, 2008 – Mansfield, Massachusetts

Farm Aid 2008 Presented by Whole Foods Market and Horizon Organic was held at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts on September 20, 2008. Nearly 20,000 fans in the crowd enjoyed performances by Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds. Other artists that played included Kenny Chesney, The Pretenders, moe., Arlo Guthrie, Jerry Lee Lewis, Steve Earle, Nation Beat, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Jakob Dylan and The Gold Mountain Rebels, Danielle Evin, Jamey Johnson, Jesse Lenat, Will Dailey, One Flew South, and The Elms. Once again, local, organic and/or sourced from family farm food was served all around the Comcast Center. The HOMEGROWN Village featured many hands-on interactive demonstrations highlighting the best of family farmers and sustainable family-farm practices.


Farm Aid 2009

October 4, 2009 – St. Louis, Missouri

Farm Aid 2009 Presented by Horizon Organic was held at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri, on October 4, 2009. A crowd of more than 20,000 enjoyed performances by Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds. Other artists included Wilco, Jason Mraz, Jamey Johnson, Gretchen Wilson, Phosphorescent, Billy Joe Shaver, Will Dailey, Ernie Isley and the Jam Band, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, The Blackwood Quartet, and Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses. For the third year running, local, organic and family farm food was served at concession stands and backstage, including fresh fruit from local Missouri farms, farm-raised pork from a Missouri family farm co-op, caramel apples, homemade pizzas, apple cider and other delicious items. The HOMEGROWN Village featured many hands-on interactive demonstrations highlighting the best of family farmers and sustainable family-farm practices, including small-scale poultry processing, beekeeping, composting and more.


Farm Aid 25

October 2, 2010 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope for America was held at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on October 2, 2010. A crowd of 35,000 enjoyed performances by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds. Other artists included Jason Mraz, Jamey Johnson, Norah Jones, Jeff Tweedy, Kenny Chesney, Band of Horses, Robert Francis, Amos Lee, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Randy Rogers Band, The Blackwood Quartet, and BoDeans. All of the artists donated their time and travel expenses. The concert was hosted by renowned PBS broadcaster Tavis Smiley and Food Network Iron Chef Michael Symon. Farm Aid 25 featured HOMEGROWN Concessions and catering using local, organic and family farm food ingredients, including fresh fruit from local Wisconsin farms, all-natural ham steaks from a Missouri family farm co-op, family farm sausages and brats, organic pizzas and other delicious items. The HOMEGROWN Village (our largest yet!) featured many hands-on interactive demonstrations highlighting the best of family farmers and sustainable family-farm practices, including seed saving, urban agriculture, aquaculture, composting and more.


Farm Aid 2011

August 13, 2011 – Kansas City, Kansas

Farm Aid 2011 was held at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas, on August 13. A crowd of more than 15,000 enjoyed performances by Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds. Additional artists included Jason Mraz, Jamey Johnson, Jakob Dylan, Robert Francis, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Will Dailey and the Rivals, Rebecca Pidgeon, John Trudell, Billy Joe Shaver, The Blackwood Quartet and Ray Price. Our HOMEGROWN Concessions served local, organic and family-farm foods to concertgoers and backstage, including local, grass-fed beef on buns made from organic Kansas wheat, all-natural ham steaks from a Missouri family farm co-op, organic corndogs and other delicious items. Farm Aid 2011 featured a farmers market coordinated by GrowNYC Youth Market, involving local Kansas City youth and farmers. We built our largest HOMEGROWN Village, where over 30 food and farm groups offered concert-goers hands-on interactive experiences with soil, water, food, renewable energy and family farmers.


Farm Aid 2012

September 22, 2012 – Hershey, Pennsylvania

Farm Aid 2012 was held at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, PA, on September 22. A record crowd of more than 30,000 enjoyed performances by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds. Additional artists included Jack Johnson, Kenny Chesney, Jamey Johnson, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, ALO, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Pegi Young & the Survivors, and Dale Watson.

Our HOMEGROWN Concessions served local, organic and family-farm foods to concertgoers and backstage, including Pennsylvania cheese, ice cream made from milk from grass-fed cows, and, as always, all-natural ham steaks from Patchwork Family Farms from Missouri. Farm Aid 2012 featured the HOMEGROWN Youthmarket, a farmers market coordinated by GrowNYC Youth Market involving local FFA youth and farmers. In the HOMEGROWN Village, more than 30 food and farm groups offered concert-goers hands-on interactive experiences with soil, water, food, renewable energy and family farmers. As part of our greening efforts, waste from the concert is in the process of being turned into compost to sustain future crops. We also sold reusable aluminum water bottles to reduce plastic use. Concert t-shirts were made with certified organic cotton, grown by U.S. family farmers. Finally, we collected more than 12,000 pounds of food for Pennsylvania families in need.


 

Pete Seeger at Farm Aid 2013 with crowd

Farm Aid 2013 – Photo by Lawrence White / Saratoga Living

Farm Aid 2013

September 21, 2013 – Saratoga Springs, New York

Farm Aid 2013 was held at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), in Saratoga Springs, New York, on September 21. A crowd of more than 25,000 enjoyed performances by Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds. Additional artists included Jack Johnson, Amos Lee, Jamey Johnson, Kacey Musgraves, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Sasha Dobson, Carlene Carter, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Bahamas, Pegi Young & the Survivors, Jesse Lenat, Insects vs Robots, The Blackwood Quartet, Will Dailey, and The Parlor. All of the artists donated their time and travel expenses. Ninety-four-year-old Pete Seeger was our surprise guest, joining Willie, John, Neil and Dave onstage for “This Land Is Your Land.” The entire audience rose to its feet and participated in a sing-along in one of his last public performances.

Our HOMEGROWN Concessions served local, organic and family-farm foods to concertgoers and backstage, including cider and baked goods to concertgoers, and, as always, all-natural ham steaks from Patchwork Family Farms from Missouri. Farm Aid 2013 featured the HOMEGROWN Youthmarket, a farmers market coordinated by GrowNYC Youth Market involving local FFA youth and farmers. In the HOMEGROWN Village, more than 50 food and farm groups offered concert-goers hands-on interactive experiences with soil, water, food, renewable energy and family farmers.


Farm Aid 2014

September 13, 2014 – Raleigh, North Carolina

Farm Aid 2014 was held at Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, in Raleigh, North Carolina, on September 13. A crowd of more than 20,000 enjoyed performances by Farm Aid Board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds. Additional artists included Jack White, Gary Clark Jr, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Jamey Johnson, Carlene Carter, Delta Rae, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Todd Snider, Jesse Lenat, Insects vs Robots, and the Raelyn Nelson Band. All of the artists generously donated their time and travel expenses.

Farm Aid served local, organic, family farm food throughout the venue with Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Concessions®, which brings family farm food to the concessions stands at every concert venue where Farm Aid plays. HOMEGROWN Concessions® included local NC food and farm businesses, and the menu highlighted local flavors and fresh foods from NC farmers and fishermen. Farm Aid also sourced family farm food in the backstage and VIP catering areas. The HOMEGROWN Youthmarket, coordinated by GrowNYC and staffed by local NC youth, sold local produce from family farmers to concertgoers. In Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Village more than 40 farm and food groups engaged concert-goers in hands-on interactive exhibits about family farmers, soil, water, food production, and renewable energy.

Before the concert, Farm Aid hosted a landmark gathering of farm leaders from across the country and civil rights leaders to learn about the legacy of civil rights organizing, Black land loss, and power-building in the Southeast. The galvanizing event was an opportunity to inspire new thinking about racial justice in food and agriculture, the power of community organizing and the need for the farmer voice to speak out and define a values-based practice for how we produce food and support farmers in the future.


Farm Aid 30

September 19, 2015 – Chicago, Illinois

Farm Aid 30—Farm Aid’s 30th anniversarywas held at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, in Chicago, Illinois, on September 19. A crowd of more than 27,000 enjoyed performances by Farm Aid Board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds. Additional artists included Imagine Dragons, Jack Johnson, Kacey Musgraves, Mavis Staples, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jamey Johnson, Holly Williams, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Insects vs Robots, Ian Mellencamp, and the BlackwoodQuartet.

Farm Aid served local, organic, family farm food throughout the venue with Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Concessions®. The HOMEGROWN Youthmarket, staffed by local youth from Chicago’s High School for Agricultural Sciences, Windy City and Growing Power, sold local produce from family farmers to concertgoers. In Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Village, farm and food groups engaged concertgoers in hands-on interactive activities about family farmers, soil, water, food production, and renewable energy. On the FarmYard Stage, agricultural journalist Alan Guebert hosted conversations with farmers, activists and artists. In the HOMEGROWN Skills Tent, concertgoers learned how to forage for urban edibles, make butter and cheese, and more.

Farm Aid hosted a number of pre-concert events and activities in Chicago to bring farmers together, engage the public and invite the media to highlight issues of concern to family farmers and eaters, including Strength from our Roots, a gathering of 200 farmers, activists, farm advocates and civic leaders from across the country to engage in inspired storytelling, intergenerational exchange, meaningful reflection and strategic analysis; Film2FarmAid, our first film festival; and an urban farm tour to highlight how community and rooftop gardens, public orchards and commercial farms nourish Chicago.

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