Farm Aid 30th Anniversary TV Special Boasts Archive Sets From Allman Brothers, B.B. King & More

Willie Nelson Farm Aid
Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images

Willie Nelson performs during Farm Aid 30 at the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in Chicago. 

Farm Aid, the music industry’s longest-running concert for a cause, will premiere an AXS TV special Jan. 10 filmed during its 30th anniversary in Chicago this past September, with performances by Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson, Kacey Musgraves and Mavis Staples, as well as classic sets from the organization’s three-decade history of benefit concerts to help America’s family farmers.

The Allman Brothers, Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, Garth Brooks, Gary Clark Jr., B.B. King, Buddy Guy and John Mayer also are featured in the 90-minute special, set to air at 8 p.m. ET on AXS, the national cable and satellite TV network.

Since 1985, Farm Aid has raised $48 million to help keep independent family-operated farms on their land. Over the past three decades -- with the participation of scores of top-name stars -- Farm Aid also has promoted what’s become known as the Good Food Movement.

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That movement has fought against the dominance of farms owned by corporations, what Farm Aid founder Nelson describes as “factory farms [that have] polluted the water and the air.”

More than a concert, Farm Aid serves as an annual gathering of activists focused on the Good Food Movement, environmentalism and social-justice battles.  

Many farmers and activists travel to the event each year to network, share strategies, listen to music and eat great family farm food on a menu that Farm Aid has trademarked as “Homegrown.”

Promoting the TV special, Farm Aid has created a Spotify playlist of artists featured on the show (below). 

It also plans to give away Farm Aid merchandise -- T-shirts, totes and water bottles -- to the best posts in support of family farmers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #Road2FarmAid.

For snacks to accompany viewing of the TV special, Farm Aid has appropriately posted, on its own website, recipes for family-farm-friendly kale chips, homemade potato chips, roasted cauliflower and its own Homegrown-branded chili.