Twenty-seven years after its inception, Farm Aid will be bringing it’s benefit concert back to Pennsylvania on Saturday, Sept. 22.
With more than 29,000 tickets sold, the sold out show will be held at Hersheypark Stadium and will feature big names such as such as Willie Nelson along with fellow board members John Mellencamp, Neil Young – with Crazy Horse – and Dave Matthews — with Tim Reynolds — as well as Jack Johnson, Kenny Chesney, ALO, Pegi Young & The Survivors, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Jamey Johnson and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals.
“We’ve built a strong family farm movement to grow our economy, ensure our health and protect our environment. Farm Aid brings these Main Street values to transform the Wall Street-controlled farm and food system,” said Farm Aid President Willie Nelson. “The Farm Aid concert is our chance to shine a spotlight on the independent family farmers who are essential to the well-being of our country.”
The signature music and food festival will feature Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Concessions — family farm-identified, local and organic foods. Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Village will give concertgoers a chance to meet farmers, engage in hands-on food and farm activities and learn about the ways family farmers are enriching our soil, protecting our water and growing our economy, in addition to bringing us good food for good health.
Farm Aid also announced that Willie Nelson will be joined onstage by special guests the Blackwood Quartet & the Bee Creek Gospel Singers. Brent James and the Contraband will entertain the crowd in the HOMEGROWN Village.
Fans at home can watch a special presentation of the concert event from Hersheypark Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 8 to 11 p.m. EDT at www.farmaid.org .
In addition to performances on stage, viewers of “Farm Aid 2012: A Backstage Pass” will get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Farm Aid 2012, featuring interviews with artists, farmers and fans; demonstrations from the HOMEGROWN Village where concertgoers engage in interactive exhibits about farming and food; a look at Farm Aid’s signature HOMEGROWN Concessions, which brings family farm food to concertgoers; and a peek into the production side of things showcasing what it takes to produce this major music, food and farming festival.
“Our country faces pressing challenges, and none of them will be solved without family farmers,” said Carolyn Mugar, executive director of Farm Aid. “The Farm Aid concert brings farmers and eaters together to grow the kind of agriculture that builds stronger communities and a healthier food system. This year, we look forward to celebrating the ingenuity of farmers from Pennsylvania and all across the United States.”
Farm Aid has a rich history in Pennsylvania. Farm Aid has long collaborated with and supported organizations and organizers in the state who are growing the Good Food Movement, including innovators at the forefront of the organic and the Buy Fresh Buy Local movements. Farm Aid concerts in the region include Farm Aid 1999 and 2000 in Bristow, Va.; Farm Aid 2002 in Burgettstown, Pa.; and Farm Aid 2006 in Camden, N.J.
“Growing up in a small town outside Knoxville, family farmers were a big part of our community,” said Kenny Chesney, who is from Luttrell, Tenn. “I am proud to play on the Farm Aid stage again, especially in Central Pennsylvania, where agriculture is at the heart of the community.”
The sponsors of Farm Aid 2012 are Giant Food Stores, Anvil Knitwear, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Horizon Organic, Weis Markets, Organic Valley, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, Silk Soymilk, Amy’s Kitchen, Bell & Evans Air Chilled, Martin Guitar, Messina Wildlife PLOTSAVER and UNFI Foundation.
“We are grateful for the overwhelming enthusiasm that Pennsylvania has shown for Farm Aid 2012,” said Jennifer Fahy, spokesperson for Farm Aid. “We hope that people across the country will tune in to farmaid.org to watch the “Farm Aid 2012: A Backstage Pass,” webcast. While we wish all our fans could join us at Hersheypark, we’re glad that those at home have a chance to be part of this music, food and farming event.”
Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America, with an annual concert to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. Since 1985, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised more than $40 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.
For concert updates, follow Farm Aid on Twitter (@farmaid) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/farmaid) and visit www.farmaid.org/concert.