Farm Aid marks 30 years of action for family farmers
CHICAGO — Farm Aid recently announced that it will host its 30th anniversary music and food festival at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island in downtown Chicago on Sept. 19.
"We organized the first Farm Aid concert in Illinois in 1985 to respond to the people suffering during the Farm Crisis," said Farm Aid President and Founder Willie Nelson. "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."
Farm Aid 30, an all-day music and food festival, will feature performances by Farm Aid board members Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Dave Matthews — with Tim Reynolds — as well as Imagine Dragons, Jack Johnson, Kacey Musgraves, Mavis Staples, Old Crow Medicine Show, Holly Williams, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Insects vs Robots and Blackwood Quartet.
In addition to a diverse lineup of music, Farm Aid 30 festivalgoers will be able to experience family farm agriculture firsthand.
Festivalgoers will enjoy family farm-identified, local and organic foods at Farm Aid's HOMEGROWN Concessions. At the HOMEGROWN Youthmarket, young people from Growing Power, the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, and Windy City Harvest Youth Farm will be selling fresh apples, pears and baked goods.
In the HOMEGROWN Village, attendees will have the chance to meet farmers from Illinois and across the country. The HOMEGROWN Village also features hands-on activities by local, regional and national farm and food organizations that engage festivalgoers in the ways family farmers are enriching our soil, protecting our water and growing our economy, in addition to bringing us good food for good health. In the HOMEGROWN.org Skills Tent, festivalgoers can dig into food, farming and homesteading DIY demonstrations, such as learning how to identify wild edibles sprouting on city street corners with Chicago foraging guru Dave Odd, of Odd produce.
Leading up to Farm Aid 30, Farm Aid will gather family farmers and farm advocates to celebrate the roots of Farm Aid's work and to engage in conversations about the issues that family farmers face and solutions for overcoming these challenges. These meetings, along with farm tours and other events, will serve to lay the foundation for Farm Aid's continued work to advance family farm agriculture.
"The first Farm Aid concert sparked a family farm movement that has rallied hundreds of thousands in support of a system of agriculture that's good for family farmers, good for the economy, good for the soil and water and good for all of us. Over the years, we've heard from so many people how crucial it is that we continue to work together and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with family farmers as we fight for change," said Farm Aid Executive Director Carolyn Mugar. "At Farm Aid 30 on Sept. 19, we'll celebrate the many actions — small and large — that we are all taking to make a big difference for family farmers. We'll take stock of 30 years of action and strengthen our commitment to work for change in our farm and food system."
To mark its 30th anniversary and honor the hard work of farmers, eaters, activists and advocates, Farm Aid launched the #Road2FarmAid, a virtual campaign inviting people to share the actions they are taking to support family farmers and grow the Good Food Movement. The campaign acknowledges the important role that each one of us plays in making change and inspires more people to get involved in family farm agriculture. People can participate at road2.farmaid.org and enter to win Farm Aid 30 tickets.
Tickets for Farm Aid 30 will go on sale Monday, August 3, at 10 a.m. CDT. Ticket prices range from $49.50 to $189.50 and will be available for purchase at LiveNation.com, the venue box office and by phone at 1-800-745-3000.
Farm Aid has partnered with Hotels for Hope to offer festival-goers discounted lodging in Chicago. Each room booked through Hotels for Hope (www.farmaid.org/hotels) results in a donation to Farm Aid.
Farm Aid 30 will be webcast live on Saturday, Sept. 19, at farmaid.org. The webcast, Farm Aid 30 Live Presented by Amy's Kitchen, will feature artist performances and stories from family farmers and eaters across the country.
Festivalgoers can enhance their Farm Aid experience with the official Farm Aid 30 mobile app, which will be available for iPhone and Android in mid-August.
In addition, Farm Aid will offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences, from meeting Willie Nelson on his legendary tour bus to joining Farm Aid board artists for a concert kickoff event, available exclusively on IfOnly.com.
For event updates, follow Farm Aid on Twitter (@farmaid) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/farmaid), and visit farmaid.org/concert.
Sponsors of Farm Aid 30 include Amy's Kitchen, Horizon Organic, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Canidae® Natural Pet Food Company, Greener Fields Together and Organic Valley. Farm Aid welcomes the participation of the Chicago area business community and offers corporate sponsorship and VIP seating opportunities. For more information, contact Glenda Yoder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farm Aid's mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual concert to raise funds to support Farm Aid's work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. For 30 years, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised $48 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.