|Founded by||Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young|
Farm Aid is an annual benefit concert held for American farmers.
Farm Aid on September 22, 1985, in Champaign, Illinois, to raise money for family farmers in the United States. The concert was organized by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, spurred on by Bob Dylan's comments at Live Aid earlier in that year that he hoped some of the money would help American farmers in danger of losing their farms through mortgage debt. The first concert was at University of Illinois' Memorial Stadium in Champaign on September 22 before a crowd of 80,000 people. Performers included Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, B.B. King, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty, among others, and raised over $9 million for U.S. family farmers.
Willie and the other founders had originally thought that they could have one concert and the problem would be solved, but they admit that the challenges facing family farmers were more complex than anyone realized. As a result, decades after the first show, Farm Aid, under the direction of Carolyn Mugar, is still working to increase awareness of the importance of family farms, and puts on an annual concert of country, blues and rock music with a variety of music artists. The board of directors includes Nelson, Mellencamp, Young, and Dave Matthews, as well as David Anderson, Paul English, Joel Katz, Lana Nelson, Mark Rothbaum, and Evelyn Shriver.
The organization operates an emergency hotline that offers farmers resources and advice about challenges they're experiencing. Early on, Nelson and Mellencamp brought family farmers before Congress to testify about the state of family farming in America. Congress subsequently passed the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 to help save family farms from foreclosure. Farm Aid also operates a disaster fund to help farmers who lose their belongings and crops through natural disasters, such as the victims of Hurricane Katrina and massive flooding in 2019. The funds raised are used to pay the farmer's expenses and provide food, legal and financial help, and psychological assistance.
The very first Farm Aid Radio Special was produced at Radio Station KUPI in 1985. The hour long special featured LeRoy Van Dyke, with 'Dakota Dave' Wayne as host and D.J. Willie Nelson supplied the recorded commercials for the special, advertising souvenirs for sale from the live concert. The special was the brain-child of country guitarist Bill Aken, who produced and directed the show from start to finish. It initially aired on Aken's radio show 'The Country Call Line' and was distributed nationally by Country Place Music.
The 2005 concert, marking the 20th anniversary of Farm Aid, took place at the Tweeter Center in Tinley Park, Illinois, with events in downtown Chicago as well. The 2007 Concert took place at Randall's Island in New York City (the first Farm Aid in New York) and was recorded in High Definition to be broadcast on HDNet as a 2 Hour Special highlighting many of the performances from the Allman Brothers and Counting Crows to John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson.
The September 2019 lineup includes Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and country music star Luke Combs. The concert at Alpine Valley Music Theatre was Combs' first show at Farm Aid.
|Farm Aid||September 22, 1985||Champaign, Illinois||Memorial Stadium||Alabama, Hoyt Axton, The Beach Boys, The Blasters, Bon Jovi, Jimmy Buffett, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, David Allan Coe, John Conlee, Charlie Daniels Band, John Denver, Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Foreigner, Vince Gill, Vern Gosdin, Arlo Guthrie, Sammy Hagar, Merle Haggard, Daryl Hall, Emmylou Harris, Don Henley, Waylon Jennings, Billy Joel, Randy Newman, George Jones, Rickie Lee Jones, B.B. King, Carole King, Kris Kristofferson, Huey Lewis, Lone Justice, Loretta Lynn, Roger McGuinn, John Mellencamp, Roger Miller, Joni Mitchell, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Charley Pride, Bonnie Raitt, Lou Reed, Kenny Rogers, Brian Setzer, Sissy Spacek, Tanya Tucker, Eddie Van Halen, Debra Winger, Neil Young, Dave Milsap, Joe Ely, Judy Rodman, X||First public appearance of Sammy Hagar and Eddie Van Halen together shortly after Hagar joined Van Halen. First public appearance by Carole King in 20 years.|
|Farm Aid II||July 4, 1986||Manor, Texas||Manor Downs Racetrack||Alabama, The Beach Boys, The Bellamy Brothers, The Blasters, Judy Collins, Rita Coolidge, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, Joe Ely, Exile, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Grateful Dead, Emmylou Harris, Julio Iglesias, Rick James, Jason & the Scorchers, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Bon Jovi, Doug Kershaw, Kris Kristofferson, Nicolette Larson, Los Lobos, John Mellencamp, Vince Neil, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Steppenwolf, Taj Mahal, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Walsh, Neil Young, X, The Unforgiven|
|Farm Aid III||September 19, 1987||Lincoln, Nebraska||Memorial Stadium||Alex Harvey, Emmylou Harris, Steppenwolf, Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett, John Denver, Lou Reed, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Bandaloo Doctors, Joe Walsh, Willie Nelson, The Unforgiven, Dr. Starr||The Grateful Dead were off site via satellite|
|Farm Aid 1989||1989||Various
(as part of a tour of Willie Nelson in 16 US cities)
(as part of a tour of Willie Nelson in 16 US cities)
|Willie Nelson||Farm Aid President Willie Nelson took Farm Aid on the road for 16 of his own show dates|
|Farm Aid IV||April 7, 1990||Indianapolis, Indiana||Hoosier Dome||Bonnie Raitt, John Mellencamp, John Hiatt, Carl Perkins, Arlo Guthrie, Gorky Park, Garth Brooks, John Denver, Bill Monroe, Alan Jackson, Asleep at the Wheel, Jackson Browne, Bruce Hornsby, Poco, Elton John, Lou Reed, Don Henley, Taj Mahal, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Guns N' Roses, KT Oslin, Iggy Pop||Steven Adler's last show with Guns N' Roses and participation of rock-band from U.S.S.R. "Gorky Park"|
|Farm Aid V||March 14, 1992||Irving, Texas||Texas Stadium||Arlo Guthrie, Asleep At The Wheel, Kentucky Headhunters, Texas Tornadoes, Bandaloo Doctors, Bonnie Raitt, Little Village, Tracy Chapman, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Petra, Paul Simon, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Highwaymen, Lorrie Morgan, Ricky Van Shelton, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp|
|Farm Aid VI||April 24, 1993||Ames, Iowa||Jack Trice Stadium||Arlo Guthrie, Asleep At The Wheel, The Jayhawks, Jann Arden, Lyle Lovett, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Ricky Van Shelton, Willie Nelson, Kentucky Headhunters, Marty Stuart, Charlie Daniels Band, Martina McBride, Bruce Hornsby, Bryan Adams, Ringo Starr, Black 47, The Highwaymen, Dwight Yoakam, Mickey Newbury|
|Farm Aid VII||September 18, 1994||New Orleans, Louisiana||Louisiana Superdome||Neville Brothers, Spin Doctors, Gin Blossoms, John Conlee, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Deana Carter, Shaver, Al Hirt, Pete Fountain, David Allan Coe, Titty Bingo|
|Farm Aid '95: 10th Anniversary||October 1, 1995||Louisville, Kentucky||Cardinal Stadium||Hootie and the Blowfish, Dave Matthews Band, BlackHawk, John Conlee, The Supersuckers, Steve Earle, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young||The 10th Anniversary of Farm Aid|
|Farm Aid '96||October 12, 1996||Columbia, South Carolina||Williams-Brice Stadium||Hootie and the Blowfish, Marshall Chapman, Beach Boys, Son Volt, Robert Earl Keen, Martina McBride, John Conlee, Jewel, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young|
|Farm Aid '97||October 4, 1997||Tinley Park, Illinois||Tweeter Center||Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Fogerty, Beck, Dave Matthews Band, Steve Earle, The V-Roys, Mary Cutrufello, The Allman Brothers Band|
|Farm Aid '98||October 3, 1998||Tinley Park, Illinois||Tweeter Center||Willie Nelson, Phish, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Steve Earle, Del McCoury Band, Wilco|
|Farm Aid '99||September 12, 1999||Bristow, Virginia||Nissan Pavilion||Susan Tedeschi, Keb' Mo', Deana Carter, Barenaked Ladies, Dave Matthews Band, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Neil Young|
|Farm Aid 2000||September 17, 2000||Bristow, Virginia||Nissan Pavilion||Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Arlo Guthrie, Sawyer Brown, Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt, North Mississippi Allstars, Barenaked Ladies, Tipper Gore, Willie Nelson||The 15th Anniversary of Farm Aid|
|Farm Aid 2001: A Concert for America||September 29, 2001||Noblesville, Indiana||Verizon Wireless Music Center||Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, Doobie Brothers, Martina McBride|
|Farm Aid '02||September 21, 2002||Burgettstown, Pennsylvania||Post-Gazette Pavilion||Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, Keith Urban, Lee Ann Womack, Kid Rock, Gillian Welch, Duane Cahill, Kenny Wayne Shepherd with Double Trouble, The Drive-By Truckers, Los Lonely Boys, Anthony Smith|
|Farm Aid '03||September 7, 2003||Columbus, Ohio||Germain Amphitheater||Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Emmylou Harris, Hootie & the Blowfish, Los Lonely Boys, Sheryl Crow, Brooks & Dunn, Titty Bingo, Trick Pony, Billy Bob Thornton, Daniel Lanois|
|Farm Aid '04||September 18, 2004||Auburn, Washington||White River Amphitheatre||Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Jerry Lee Lewis, Trick Pony, Tony Coleman, Blue Merle, Tegan and Sara, Kate Voegele, Kitty Jerry, Marc Broussard|
|Farm Aid 2005: 20th Anniversary||September 18, 2005||Tinley Park, Illinois||First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre||Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews, Arlo Guthrie, Buddy Guy, Congressman Collin Peterson and the Second Amendments, Drew Davis Band, Elizabeth Rainey, Emmylou Harris, James McMurtry, Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra, John Mayer, Kate Voegele, Kathleen Edwards, Kenny Chesney, Los Lonely Boys, Shannon Brown, Supersuckers, Susan Tedeschi, Widespread Panic, Wilco, Barack Obama||The 20th Anniversary of Farm Aid|
|Farm Aid 2006||September 30, 2006||Camden, New Jersey||Tweeter Center||Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews, Jerry Lee Lewis with Roy Head, Los Lonely Boys, Arlo Guthrie, Gov't Mule, Steve Earle and Allison Moorer, Steel Pulse, Shelby Lynne, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jimmy Sturr & his Orchestra, Pauline Reese, Danielle Evin|
|Farm Aid 2007: A Homegrown Festival||September 9, 2007||New York City||Randall's Island||Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews with Merle Haggard, Ray Price, Billy Joe Shaver, Tim Reynolds, Gregg Allman, The Allman Brothers Band, Counting Crows, Matisyahu, Guster, The Derek Trucks Band, Warren Haynes, Supersuckers, The Ditty Bops, Montgomery Gentry, Jimmy Sturr, Danielle Evin, Jesse Lenat, Pauline Reese, Paula Nelson, Titty Bingo, 40 Points|
|Farm Aid 2008||September 20, 2008||Mansfield, Massachusetts||Comcast Center||Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds with Jerry Lee Lewis, Kenny Chesney, The Pretenders, moe., Arlo Guthrie, 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, The Elms|
|Farm Aid 2009||October 4, 2009||Maryland Heights, Missouri||Verizon Wireless Amphitheater||Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds with Jamey Johnson, Jason Mraz, Phosphorescent, Wilco, Will Dailey|
|Farm Aid 2010: 25th Anniversary||October 2, 2010||Milwaukee, Wisconsin||Miller Park||Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Neil Young, Jeff Tweedy, Kenny Chesney, Jason Mraz, Norah Jones, Band of Horses, Amos Lee, Robert Francis, The BoDeans, Jamey Johnson||The 25th Anniversary of Farm Aid|
|Farm Aid 2011||August 13, 2011||Kansas City, Kansas||Livestrong Sporting Park||Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews, Jason Mraz, Jamey Johnson, Jakob Dylan, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Will Dailey & The Rivals, Billy Joe Shaver, Robert Francis, Ray Price, Rebecca Pidgeon, Hearts of Darkness, John Trudell, The Blackwood Quartet|
|Farm Aid 2012||September 22, 2012||Hershey, Pennsylvania||Hersheypark Stadium||Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Kenny Chesney, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Jack Johnson, ALO, Pegi Young & The Survivors, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Dale Watson, Jamey Johnson|
|Farm Aid 2013||September 21, 2013||Saratoga Springs, New York||Saratoga Performing Arts Center||Willie Nelson, Pete Seeger, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Amos Lee, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Jack Johnson, Jamey Johnson, Kacey Musgraves, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Sasha Dobson, Carlene Carter, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Will Dailey, Bahamas, Pegi Young & The Survivors, Jesse Lenat, Insects vs Robots, The Blackwood Quartet|
|Farm Aid 2014||September 13, 2014||Raleigh, North Carolina||Walnut Creek Amphitheatre||Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Jack White, Gary Clarke Jr., Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Jamey Johnson, Delta Rae, Todd Snider, Raelyn Nelson Band, Carlene Carter, |
|Farm Aid 2015||September 19, 2015||Chicago||FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island||Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Imagine Dragons, Jack Johnson, Kacey Musgraves, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jamey Johnson, Mavis Staples, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Holly Williams, Insects vs Robots, Blackwood Quartet||The 30th Anniversary of Farm Aid|
|Farm Aid 2016||September 17, 2016||Bristow, Virginia||Jiffy Lube Live||Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Alabama Shakes, Sturgill Simpson, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Jamey Johnson (with special guest Alison Krauss), Margo Price, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Insects vs Robots, Ian Mellencamp, The Wisdom Indian Dancers, Star Swain|
|Farm Aid 2017||September 16, 2017||Burgettstown, Pennsylvania||KeyBank Pavilion||Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Jack Johnson, The Avett Brothers, Sheryl Crow, Jamey Johnson, Blackberry Smoke, Valerie June, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Insects vs Robots|
|Farm Aid 2018||September 22, 2018||Hartford, Connecticut||Xfinity Theatre||Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Chris Stapleton, Kacey Musgraves, Sturgill Simpson, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Margo Price, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Particle Kid|
|Farm Aid 2019||September 21, 2019||East Troy, Wisconsin||Alpine Valley Music Theatre||Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Bonnie Raitt, Luke Combs, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Jamey Johnson, Margo Price, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Yola, Tanya Tucker, Jamestown Revival, Particle Kid, Ian Mellencamp, Wisdom Indian Dancers, Ho-Chunk Thundercloud Singers |
|At Home with Farm Aid||April 11, 2020||Various||Entertainers' homes||Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson with Lukas and Micah Nelson, and Neil Young||Due to the impact of the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic on the music industry, this concert's format was radically altered.|