For the first time, the annual Farm Aid benefit concert will come to Connecticut this September, featuring artists Neil Young, Willie Nelson, and John Mellencamp.
Farm Aid, which was founded by Nelson, Young, and Mellencamp in 1985, was created to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and raise funds to keep farm families on their land. In 2001, Dave Matthews joined the Farm Aid Board of Directors. Since their debut, the group has raised more than $53 million.
The annual festival features a unique lineup of artists who perform throughout the day, along with family farm-identified, local and organic foods. Hands-on activities take place throughout the fest, like The Homegrown Village, in an effort to show people the roots of where their food comes from. Farmers and artists will talk about issues in the farming industry on the FarmYard Stage, and guests can attend sessions to learn agrarian skills in the Homegrown Skills tent.
“Folks are educating themselves about where and how food is grown – they’re hungry for the truth,” Nelson said in a statement. “Family farmers bring us good food, protect our soil and water, and strengthen our country. The Farm Aid concert is a day for us to honor that truth and keep working for family farmers.”
This year’s festival is set to take place in Connecticut for the first time at Hartford’s XFINITY Theatre on September 22. The lineup includes Nelson, Young, Mellencamp, and Matthews, along with artists Tim Reynolds, Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Kacey Musgraves, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and Particle Kid. More artists are yet to be announced.
“At Farm Aid…we’ll come together to stand up to the handful of corporations that control our food system,” Mellencamp said. “If you want a better world, it starts with you.”
Tickets to this year’s festival are available starting June 29. To learn more about the festival and how to donate to Farm Aid, visit FarmAid.org.
Photo: Farm Aid board artists Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young. Photo © Marc Hauser