Willie Nelson Announces Virtual Lineup of 35th Farm Aid

The family-farm benefit is more important now than ever.

Written by Chris Parton
Willie Nelson Announces Virtual Lineup of 35th Farm Aid
Willie Nelson; Photo credit: James Minchin

2020 marks the 35th anniversary of Willie Nelson’s beloved Farm Aid concert for a cause, and this year’s festival will transition to an online event amidst unprecedented times.

Set for September 26 with Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews headlining, the virtual Farm Aid 2020 On The Road also will feature a diverse array of musical acts, all coming together for sustainable agriculture. Black Pumas, Bonnie Raitt and Boz Scaggs, Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Edie Brickell with Charlie Sexton, 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 are all joining in, with more artists to be added.

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We’re extremely excited to announce that Farm Aid 2020 will stream online, on Saturday, September 26 from 8-11 p.m. EDT on farmaid.org. This virtual at-home festival experience is going to be incredible and will allow more viewers than ever before to take part in our annual festival! For Farm Aid 2020, and our 35th anniversary, we’ll showcase the diversity and strength of family farmers with stories from across the country. We’ve also got a star-studded lineup for you this year, with performances by: * Willie Nelson and The Boys * Neil Young * John Mellencamp * Dave Matthews * Black Pumas * Bonnie Raitt and Boz Scaggs * Brandi Carlile * Chris Stapleton * Edie Brickell with Charlie Sexton * 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 * The War and Treaty * And more to be announced soon!

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They’ve got a serious message to convey this time around. On top of extreme weather and climate changes, farmers are dealing with political upheaval affecting their ability to sell crops overseas and now COVID-19, and Farm Aid organizers are warning thousands of family farms may be forced out of business this year. Add to that longstanding racial inequalities impacting the nation’s food production, and Farm Aid is basically in crisis mode. This year’s event will feature more than just music, also showcasing the stories of diverse farmers from across the country “who have been invited to talk about why they farm, how they stay resilient, and their vision of the future of agriculture.”

“This pandemic and so many other challenges have revealed how essential family farmers and ranchers are to the future of our planet,” says Nelson, the founder and president of Farm Aid. “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 was first held in 1985, and has since has raised nearly $60 million to support family farmers and a sustainable agriculture system. The festival will run from 8 to 11 p.m. EDT on September 26, and will be streamed for free at FarmAid.org, Farm Aid’s YouTube channel, AXS TV and at Fans.com, with other platforms pending. Online donations are strongly encouraged, since the festival won’t be able to generate revenue through ticket sales as it usually does.