memories of the ’80s – Farm Aid

A few months after the memorable concert for Live Aid, three performers decided to try another concert to help American farmers: Farm Aid.

After hearing Bob Dylan say from the stage of Live Aid that farmers needed help to survive, musicians Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson planned the concert, for September 25, 1985 in Champaign, Illinois.

Joined by heavyweight musicians such as Dylan, Billy Joel, BB King, Roy Orbison, Joni Mitchell, Glen Campbell, Randy Newman and Tom Petty and the Hearbreakers, the organizers knew the inaugural concert was going to be a success.

The first concert had an audience of 80,000 and made over US$9 million for farmers, to help survive mortgage debt issues, that were a result of several bad years of the economy towards farmers.

Other notable names that appeared at the first Farm Aid included Kris Kristofferson, Alabama, Rickie Lee Jones, Carole King, Arlo Guthrie, Eddie Van Halen, Vince Gill, Emmy Lou Harris, Foreigner, Daryl Hall and Loretta Lynn.

But unlike previous concerts that were fixated on one-off creations for charity, Farm Aid became an annual event. which has moved from city to city across the US, showing support for farmers, and organizations to help them through debt and drought and provide legal and psychological support.





About Waheeda Harris

A pop culture junkie with a penchant for exploring our planet.
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