Everyone seems to have recently been jumping on the locavore bandwagon. And that’s not a bad thing at all. FARM AID has been preaching this message since 1985. In fact, the genesis of FARM AID actually started right here in Philadelphia during LIVE AID at JFK Stadium. Bob Dylan remarked that he hoped some of the money raised would stay right here in the United States to help American farmers in danger of losing their farms due of debt.
Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp turned the idea into action and mere months later, the first FARM AID concert was held in Illinois, where more than $9 million was raised. Since then, the FARM AID concerts have zig-zagged across the country just about every year and in September, the show lands in our backyard at Hersheypark Stadium.
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This isn’t the first area stop for FARM AID. In 2006, the show across the river at the (then) Tweeter Center featured the usual suspects: Nelson, Young, Mellencamp and Dave Matthews (a fellow board member) as well as Arlo Guthrie, Steve Earle, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others. This year, the Founding Four will perform along with Jack Johnson, Young’s wife Pegi (who has been singing with him for years and has recently been branching out into her own music career) and her band the Survivors, ALO, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. More acts are expected to be announced soon.
The music is the draw but the message is real. And real important. One of FARM AID’s missions is to help bring farmers and eaters together to help build stronger communities and healthier food systems.To that end, there will be lots of good food at FARM AID’s HOMEGROWN Concessions: family-farm identified, local and organic foods. And there will be plenty of farmers on hand to talk about the challenges they face and the ways they are enriching soil, protecting water and growing the economy along with the crops they produce.
Over the years, FARM AID has raised more than $40 million to help United States farmers and to encourage consumers to choose family farm food. It’s a bonus that the message comes wrapped in such a musical package!
Buy Fresh! Buy Local! It’s not just a bumper sticker.
Sept. 22: 12 p.m. Hersheypark Stadium, 100 W. Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, PA 17033. TICKETS: $49.70-$118.35, hersheyparkstadium.com