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On This Day, September 22, 1985: The first Farm Aid is held in Illinois

On This Day, September 22, 1985…


Willie NelsonNeil Young and John Mellencamp headlined the first-ever Farm Aid concert in Champaign, Illinois.

The trio organized the all-star event to raise money to help family farmers in the United States. They were inspired by comments Bob Dylan made during the Live Aid concerts, in which he said he hoped some of the money could go to help struggling farmers.

Dylan also performed at the first Farm Aid, as did Billy JoelTom PettyB.B. KingLoretta Lynn and Roy Orbison.

The first concert raised over $9 million.

Since then Farm Aid has held concerts almost every year, with the 2023 edition scheduled for September 23 in Noblesville, Indiana. A full lineup can be found at farmaid.org.

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