Willie Nelson & Family perform at Farm Aid 2019 | photo by Brian Bruner
Farm Aid goes virtual for 35th anniversary
Farm Aid will look a bit different this year. While the festival’s 35th anniversary is a cause for celebration, Farm Aid 2020 On the Road will take place against the backdrop of a global pandemic, an economic crisis, a movement for racial justice, and a season of severe weather exacerbated by climate change.
Family farmers have faced unprecedented challenges from these compounding issues, which have exposed the fragility and injustice of our food system, and thousands are at risk of going under. According to Farm Aid’s 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.”
“This pandemic and so many other challenges have revealed how essential family farmers and ranchers are to the future of our planet,” says Willie Nelson, Farm Aid’s president and founder. “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.”
More than 20 artists have signed on to make this message heard loud and clear via an at-home festival experience, and family farmers from across the country will join them in the virtual show. Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews — who all serve on Farm Aid’s board — will perform, along with Black Pumas, Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff, Valerie June, The War And Treaty and many more. Find the full lineup here and listen to a mixtape of the artists below.