Willie Nelson has announced that he will be hosting a live-streamed Farm Aid benefit.
At Home With Farm Aid will feature performances from Nelson – Farm Aid’s president – as well as fellow board members Neil Young, Dave Matthews and John Mellencamp. The event will be live streamed from their individual homes on Farm Aid’s website on April 11 at 8pm (ET).
Nelson made the announcement on the same website, explaining the inspiration behind At Home With Farm Aid. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, many family-owned farms have been affected, he said. The live-streamed concert is aimed at raising funds and awareness for these businesses.
“Just like the rest of us, farmers face uncertainty too. Many have already lost access to the markets that keep them in business”, Nelson wrote in the statement. “What will happen to their crops should they or their farmworkers become ill? These questions are especially important to us now, when we all need access to safe, good food.”
“On the Farm Aid stage last September, my friend and fellow board member John Mellencamp said, ‘Be hopeful about, have faith in, and be grateful for right now; the miracle of life is in the dirt under our farmers’ fingernails’”, he continued, “He was right and I’m so grateful for the farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers who are on the front lines sustaining all our communities.”
At Home With Farm Aid is Nelson’s second COVID-19 related virtual fundraiser. On 19 March, he also hosted Luck’s ‘Til Further Notice, which featured performances from Paul Simon, Edie Brickell and Margo Price, among others.
Farm Aid began as a benefit concert in 1985, put together by Nelson, Young and Mellencamp. Since 1991, the event has been a yearly institution, but it remains to be seen if a live physical concert will be held this year.
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