Farm Aid 30 @ FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island

Started by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young in 1985, the first Farm Aid took place on September 22, 1985 in Champaign, Illinois. On September 19, 2015, Farm Aid returned back to Illinois to celebrate its 30th anniversary at the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island in Chicago. The goal of the benefit concert is to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and as well as funds to keep farm families on the land.

“The legacy of Farm Aid is twofold: in the change we’ve made in our farm and food system, and in the rich musical record of concerts held since 1985. The list of artists who have played on the Farm Aid stage is a who’s who of the best artists of our time.” — John Mellencamp

At Farm Aid 30, original organizers, along with Dave Matthews, who joined the Farm Aid Board of Directors in 2001, were part of the lineup of artists for the all-day music and food festival. The lineup included a variety of artists and genres:

  • Blackwood Quartet
  • Ian Mellencamp
  • Insects vs Robots
  • Holly Williams
  • Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
  • Old Crow Medicine Show
  • Jamey Johnson
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Jack Johnson
  • Mavis Staples
  • Imagine Dragons
  • Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds
  • John Mellencamp
  • Neil Young
  • Willie Nelson
  • Visit the Farm Aid website to see how you can help support United States family farmers.


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