Farm Aid has announced that the organization will mark its 35th anniversary with a virtual at-home festival experience. Farm Aid 2020 On the Road, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 26, from 8 to 11 p.m. EDT, will include performances from more than 20 artists. The 3-hour event will be streamed at FarmAid.org, on Farm Aid’s YouTube channel, AXS TV and Fans.com.
Farm Aid 2020 On the Road artists include Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson and The Boys, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Dave Matthews, as well as Black Pumas, Bonnie Raitt & Boz Scaggs, Edie Brickell with Charlie Sexton, Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Jack Johnson, Jamey Johnson, Jon Batiste, Kelsey Waldon, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff, Particle Kid, The Record Company, Valerie June, and The War And Treaty, with other artists to be added.
“This pandemic and so many other challenges have revealed how essential family farmers and ranchers are to the future of our planet,” said Farm Aid President and founder Willie Nelson. “Farm Aid 2020 is going to give the whole country a chance to learn about the important work of farmers and how they’re contributing to our well-being, beyond bringing us good food.”
Farm Aid’s 35th anniversary comes at a time of unprecedented uncertainty, suffering and upheaval in our country. The COVID-19 pandemic, economic stress and the racial justice movement are urgent concerns that all of us share. The impacts of COVID-19 have revealed the fragility and injustice in our food system. As a result of the compounding challenges family farmers face, thousands are at risk of going under. There is now even more urgency and a critical need for a national response to keep family farmers on the land.
“Since we started in 1985, Farm Aid has kept its finger on the pulse of farm country and deployed funds and resources to help farm families confront the challenges they face,” said Executive Director Carolyn Mugar. “It’s clear that this is a critical moment for farmers and ranchers. We risk losing their important contributions to our communities and our families if we do not adequately respond as a country.”
The virtual festival also will showcase stories from farmers from across the country who were invited to share why they farm, how they manage to stay resilient, and their vision of the future of agriculture.
This year, more viewers will have unprecedented access to Farm Aid’s annual festival than ever before as FarmAid.org, Farm Aid’s YouTube channel, AXS TV and Fans.com will offer a multi-platform experience, streaming the event at no cost to viewers. Additional viewing options will be announced later. To find AXS TV in your area, visit www.axs.tv/subscribe/.
Farm Aid will again offer exclusive trips and artist-signed memorabilia, including a number of “from the vault” guitars and prints from previous Farm Aid festivals, for auction. The online silent auction will launch the morning of the festival, Sat., Sept. 26, and close on Friday, Oct. 9, with proceeds to benefit the organization.
The goal of the virtual festival is to raise critical funds for and awareness of the organization and its mission, which it typically does through ticket sales to the annual in-person music and food festival. Farm Aid accepts donations year-round at www.farmaid.org/donate.
For event updates, follow Farm Aid on Twitter (@FarmAid), Facebook (facebook.com/farmaid) and Instagram (instagram.com/farmaid), and visit farmaid.org/festival. Viewers are encouraged to use the hashtags #FarmAid2020 and #OnTheRoad to join the conversation on social media around this year’s virtual festival.
Sponsors include ButcherBox, Horizon Organic, Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs, Patagonia Workwear and Lundberg Family Farms. Farm Aid welcomes the participation of the business community. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, contact Glenda Yoder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual festival to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. For more than 30 years, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised nearly $60 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.
*Feature image photo credit Marc Hauser courtesy of Farm Aid