It is hard to believe that the very first Farm Aid Concert was held 33 years ago. The year was 1985 when Willie Nelson was joined by Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp and Neil Young for the first Farm Aid Concert which was held at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois.

This year’s event will be held on September 22 at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut. Farm Aid is held at a different venue around the United States each year with a rotating lineup of both veteran performers, like Neil Young and John Mellencamp, and fresh faces, including Jack White, Kacey Musgraves, and Jeff Tweedy. The complete lineup is listed below.

The original concert idea came from Bob Dylan and was established to benefit American farmers who were struggling and in danger of losing their farms through mortgage debt. Some 80,000 people were on hand that first year to hear the four men play along with B.B. King, Roy Orbison, Billy Joel and others at the University of Illinois.

Several Quincy people were involved with putting the event on in Champaign that year. Were you one of them? The initial concert raised over $9 million for farmers in 1985.

Tickets for this year's event sold out in 4 hours.  The event will be televised live on AXS-TV at 6 p.m. CDT.


  • Willie Nelson
  • Neil Young
  • John Mellencamp
  • Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Sturgill Simpson
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
  • Jamey Johnson
  • Margo Price
  • Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
  • Particle Kid
  • Ian Mellencamp



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