Over 30,000 people attended Farm Aid’s 25th anniversary in Wisconsin at Miller Park with musical performances by John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Dave Mathews, Neil Young and a surprise guest appearance by Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.
Saturday’s gathering reunited Nelson, Mellencamp and Young who helped organize the first Farm Aid concert in 1985, which is intended to raise money and awareness for family farms across the U.S.
The concert was entitled “Growing Hope for America.”
John Mellencamp who was raised and born in Indiana stated, “As the family farmer goes, so goes America.”
“We’re all hopeful. That’s why we’re here. You can never give up: never, never, never. So every year I get a chance to come and rant about it,” Neil Young said.
Willie Nelson reflected on his 25 years of Farm Aid concerts and said, “We’ve had thousands of artists, millions of people who have given their time and their money for the family farmer. What have we done in 25 years? Well, we’re still here. If we had it all worked out we wouldn’t have to be here again.”
People came to donate cash, hear music, eat food and locally grown entrees.
Ticket prices ranged from forty dollars to a hundred dollars each. An event official stated that the charity concert raised $2 million in sales. Since it’s inception in 1985 Farm Aid has raised more than $37 million to help farmers with grants and support programs.
According to organizers, they will look over farmers’ applications that are looking for grants and decide where the money is needed.