Farm Aid is heading to Connecticut for the first time in its 33-year history when the annual charity show comes to Hartford’s XFINITY Theatre on September 22nd. The lineup will feature Farm Aid board members Neil Young, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson alongside Kacey Musgraves, Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real and Particle Kid. Additional artists will be announced later this summer. Tickets go on sale June 29th.
“Family farmers are the backbone of our country,” Nelson said in a statement. “But today, they are endangered. Whether we live in cities like Hartford or the rural areas of New England, each of us has the power to create positive, lasting change in our farm and food system and strengthen farm families to help them stay on the land for generations to come.”
Mellencamp echoed the sentiment in his own statement. “The crisis farmers are in now is even worse than 1985, because there are fewer farms left to lose,” he said. “Family farmers are becoming an endangered species. They have a whole system stacked against them, and time is running out for Americans to demand a fairer playing field. Farm Aid 2018 has to be a rallying cry for all of us to stand up and fight for these families.”
The first Farm Aid was held in Champaign, Illinois on September 22nd, 1985 with a massive bill that included Bob Dylan, Lou Deed, Don Henley, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Billy Joel and many others. After a couple of off-years in the early days, it’s been staged every single year since 1992, raising over $53 million for struggling family farmers.
Last year’s Farm Aid was held at KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania. It featured Neil Young’s first live performance in over a year, a stunning set in which he tore through “Cinnamon Girl,” “Like a Hurricane,” “Cortez The Killer” and other classics in a blistering 45 minutes.