Willie Nelson has announced plans to host the digital event At Home with Farm Aid on Saturday, April 11th at 8:00 p.m. ET. The streaming concert — which will available on AXS TV and the Farm Aid website — will feature performances by Farm Aid board members Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and Nelson himself, along with his sons Lukas and Micah. They will all be performing from their homes.
“On the Farm Aid stage last September, my friend and fellow board member John Mellencamp said, ‘Be hopeful about, have faith in and be grateful for right now; the miracle of life is in the dirt under our farmers’ fingernails,'” Nelson said in a statement. “He was right and I’m so grateful for the farmers, ranchers and farmworkers who are on the frontlines sustaining all our communities. Now, more than ever, stay strong and positive.”
This will be the second digital concert that Nelson has staged since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. On March 19th, he hosted Luck Presents: ‘Til Further Notice, which featured performances by Paul Simon, Edie Brickell, Lucinda Williams, Neil Young, Margo Price, Randy Houser and many others. It was one of the first digital concert events of the coronavirus era and it provided a model that many others have followed.
Farm Aid was originally held in 1985 and they haven’t taken a single year off since 1991. It’s traditionally held in September at an outdoor amphitheater, but it’s quite possible that mass gatherings won’t be permitted by then. If that’s the case, At Home With Farm Aid may be their best possible alternative.
“Farm Aid is working hard to support farmers and ranchers in this difficult time,” Nelson wrote in his statement. “We’re making emergency grants to help with household and medical expenses. We’re answering calls on our hotline. We’re creating lists of resources and working with our partners to advocate for policies that build a more resilient food system for the future.”