Farm Aid 27, Hershey, PA (9/22/2012)

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Thinking about heading to Hershey on Saturday to take in some tunes at Farm Aid 2012?

Think again. The annual concert extravaganza headlined by Willie Nelson and friends is sold out.

You could bring a lawn chair and find a nice spot outside Hersheypark Stadium to listen to some of the performances that will include Farm Aid regulars John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews. Or you visit www.farmaid.org from 8 to 11 p.m. to view a behind-the-scenes webcast.

 

Jennifer Fahy, Farm Aid communications director, said 29,278 tickets were sold for the event, which also welcomes country star Kenny Chesney, Jack Johnson, ALO, Pegi Young and the Survivors and Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real. Country singer/songwriter Jamey Johnson and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals were late additions to the lineup last week.

“We’re trying a different format for the webcast,” Fahy said. “Before it was mostly the music. Now it’s going to be split between what’s all going on.”

That will include interviews with artists, farmers and fans, demonstrations from the Homegrown Village, a look at Farm Aid’s signature Homegrown concessions and a peek into the production side of the event.

The parking lot and the back area of the stadium across the main stage will be transformed into the Homegrown Village. There, visitors can participate in interactive exhibits about farming and food and mingle in the Farm Yard, where the public can talk to farmers and farm group staff.

“There will be cooking demonstrations using local and seasonal ingredients on a budget,” said Fahy, noting that visitors can take in worm races and learn about things such as mushroom growing and raising backyard chickens.

Local farm groups and groups from all over the country will participate. “We’ve been doing the Homegrown Village since 2007,” Fahy said. “It’s a way we get people engaged in what Farm Aid really is. We explored the idea of opening the Homegrown Village [to the nonticket-holding public] but logistically couldn’t make that happen.”

Country singer Brent James will perform on the stage in the Homegrown Village, which will be open from noon to 5:30 p.m.

Forums, meetings and farm tours will be held in the area throughout the weekend, including Farm Aid Eve on Friday night at Purcell Friendship Hall at Milton Hershey School. The event, which celebrates local food and music by the groups Damaged Pies and Hoots & Hellmouth, was limited to 200 visitors and is sold out as well.

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