Neil Young, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson will take the stage at Farm Aid when the annual benefit hits St. Louis, Missouri, for the first time. The concert marks the ninth consecutive year that the four artists — all Farm Aid board members — have headlined the festival. This year's Farm Aid, taking place October 4th at Maryland Heights, Missouri's Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, is also the first time the benefit has played America's Midwest since the 2005 concert in Tinsley Park, Illinois.
"Farm Aid has deep roots in the Midwest that reach back to our first concert in Illinois in 1985," Nelson, who serves as Farm Aid's president, said in a statement. "I'm looking forward to bringing my friends together on the Farm Aid stage to celebrate family farmers and the crucial work they do. Farmers do so much more than bring us the good food we all want to eat. America needs family farmers to revitalize our economy and make our country healthy."
The struggling economy has taken its toll on farmers, and this past year Farm Aid received a record number of calls from farmers seeking help with "credit shortages, falling prices and the sharp increase in costs of production," according to a press release. Farm Aid benefits organizations that work to help strengthen family farms across the nation. Since 1985, Farm Aid's first year, the annual benefit concert has raised over $35 million.
Tickets for Farm Aid 2009 go on sale to the public July 25th, but Farm Aid members can begin purchasing tickets starting tomorrow, July 17th, at the FarmAid.org Website. Like in previous years, more artists will join the headliners on the concert's lineup. In the last five years alone, bands like Wilco, the Allman Brothers, John Mayer, Jerry Lee Lewis, Steve Earle and many more have appeared at Farm Aid. Two of this year's headliners — Mellencamp and Nelson — are currently on the road along with Bob Dylan on their summer minor league ballpark tour.
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