Willie Nelson performs in 2005
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Farm Aid 2017: An American tradition keeps growing
Presale tickets became available on June 13 for Farm Aid 2017, a concert that proves idealism can persist with determined voices like founding board members Willie Nelson and Neil Young to fight for it.
In reference to the festival's return to Burgettstown, Pa., outside Pittsburgh, which previously hosted Farm Aid 2002, Nelson said, "What's happening in western Pennsylvania and the region shows us that we can count on family farmers to strengthen our communities and connect people. Whether we live in rural or urban places, food — and music — brings us all together."
Farm Aid has raised more than $50 million since it began in 1985, a crystal grown from remarks made onstage earlier that year by Bob Dylan at Bob Geldof's Live Aid, hoping some of the event's funds could help "pay the mortgages on some of the farms."
"It's the longest running charity of its kind in the world," said founding board member John Mellencamp, who will be performing with fellow board member Dave Matthews. This year's guest lineup also includes Sheryl Crow, who played Farm Aid 2003, joined by headliners the Avett Brothers and Jack Johnson as well as GRAMMY nominee Jamey Johnson.
The organization boasting, "Great music, supporting farmers and strengthening America since 1985," took grit to build. Read more about how this fall's crop of artists came together at Rolling Stone.