Willie Nelson, Kacey Musgraves and More to Perform at Farm Aid 2015
The 30th anniversary of Farm Aid is drawing some of the biggest stars of all genres to Chicago this fall.
In addition to the event's founders — Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp — and its fourth Board of Directors member, Dave Matthews, other artists set to take the stage at the 2015 concert include Kacey Musgraves, Jack Johnson, Imagine Dragons, Old Crow Medicine Show, Mavis Staples, Holly Williams, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Insects vs. Robots (featuring Willie Nelson's son Micah) and Blackwood Quartet.
For the event's 30th anniversary, Farm Aid will return to the state of Illinois, to the First Merit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, near downtown Chicago. The inaugural event took place in Champaign, Ill., in 1985.
“We organized the first Farm Aid concert in Illinois in 1985 to respond to the people suffering during the farm crisis,” Nelson, president and founder of Farm Aid, says in a statement. “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.”
The "On the Road Again" singer was inspired to create Farm Aid when Bob Dylan suggested during Live Aid in 1985 in Philadelphia that a similar program be launched to help farmers in the United States.
“The first Farm Aid concert featured more than 50 artists on one stage,” Nelson says. “In the 29 years since, hundreds more artists have given their time and talent to support family farmers. This year, we would like to invite even more artists to join us onstage as we celebrate family farm agriculture.”
Since 1985, Farm Aid has raised almost $48 million for farmers all over the country.
"In 1985, alternatives didn't exist for most farmers, and people didn't understand that there was a role for them in changing the system," Mellencamp says. "People thought the farm crisis was a rural problem. But after that first concert, people listened. They realized that if we lost family farmers, we lost Main Street, and we lost our food. They stood up with family farmers, and now things are changing. We've got a lot more work to do, but the connection between rural and urban communities is more real and important to people."
Tickets for Farm Aid will go on sale on Aug. 3 at 10AM CT through the Farm Aid website.
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