The legendary Mavis Staples will perform at Farm Aid this year.
Farm Aid is 30 this year. Started in 1985, a concert had been held every year since except for 1988 and 1991 at different venues around the U.S. to help raise money for the family farmer.
Farm Aid was started by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young as a reaction to Bob Dylan’s comment at Live Aid that he hoped money from the event was going to go to the American farmer. Three months after Live Aid, the first Farm Aid concert was held for 80,000 people at the University of Illinois’ Memorial Stadium and included acts like Dylan, Billy Joel, B.B. King, Roy Orbison and the three founders.
Dave Matthews entered the fold at the tenth anniversary show in Tinley Park, IL and has appeared almost every year since. Today, Nelson, Mellencamp, Young and Matthews make up the board of directors for the annual charity concert.
This year, Farm Aid goes back to Illinois on September 19 at the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island in Chicago for a show that will include the four board members along with Mavis Staples, Jack Johnson, Imagine Dragons, Kacey Musgraves, Old Crow Medicine Show, Holly Williams, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real (the band that is with Neil Young on The Monsanto Years), Insects vs. Robots and the Blackwood Quartet.
Nelson is being billed as Willie Nelson & Family while Matthews will be playing with Tim Reynolds.
Nelson said of this year’s show “We organized the first Farm Aid concert in Illinois in 1985 to respond to the people suffering during the Farm Crisis. Thirty years later, in Chicago, we’ll bring together so many of the people – farmers, eaters, advocates and activists – who have made the progress of the Good Food Movement possible. At Farm Aid 30, we’ll celebrate the impact we’ve had and rally our supporters for the work ahead.”
Presale for the tickets starts July 29 with general sales starting August 3 at 10 AM CDT. The show will also be streamed on-line, sponsored by Amy’s Kitchen.
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