Farm Aid's annual festival — a full day of music, family farmers, HOMEGROWN food and a HOMEGROWN Village with agrarian experiences — is returning to Hartford, Connecticut, this year live and in-person on Saturday, Sept. 25, at Xfinity Theatre.
Tickets for Farm Aid 2021 went on sale to the public on Friday, July 23, at 10 a.m. EDT.
After hosting a virtual festival in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Farm Aid 2021 will reunite family farmers and musician activists, with performances by Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson & Family, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, and Margo Price, as well as Sturgill Simpson, Tyler Childers, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Bettye LaVette, Jamey Johnson, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Allison Russell, Particle Kid, and Ian Mellencamp.
“The experience of the past 18 months has reminded us how much we need each other,” said Farm Aid President and Founder Willie Nelson. “I’m so glad that music is bringing us all back together at Farm Aid 2021 to celebrate family farmers. When we combine music, family farmers and good food, we have the power to grow the kind of agriculture that strengthens all of us.”
Hartford festival attendees will experience the abundance of family farm agriculture firsthand via HOMEGROWN Concessions featuring a diverse, fresh menu with ingredients that are produced by family farmers, using ecological practices, with a fair price paid to the farmers. In addition, Farm Aid’s HOMEGROWN Village features hands-on activities designed to engage festivalgoers in learning about soil, water, energy, food and farming. Festivalgoers can hear farmers and artists educate and inspire on the FarmYard Stage and learn agrarian skills and celebrate the cultures of agriculture in the HOMEGROWN Skills tent.
Agriculture in the Northeastern United States is diverse, value-add oriented, and economically important to its communities. New England is home to 32,300 farms across six states ― Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island — with an additional 33,438 farms in New York State. The Northeast is a hotbed for innovative progress in agriculture, including local and regional food systems, organic production, work to advance racial justice in agriculture, and regenerative agriculture methods of the Indigenous Americans who farmed this land first. The Northeast includes some of the top states for new and beginning farmers, as well as female farmers. Challenges of farmers in this region include access to farmland and credit, fair prices (particularly in dairy) and climate change.
“Live performances by artists who are passionate about agriculture and good food are the deep roots that sustain Farm Aid’s year-round work for family farmers,” said Farm Aid Executive Director Carolyn Mugar. “We’re thrilled that Hartford is welcoming Farm Aid back again after our successful 2018 event. We’re grateful to the management and staff at Xfinity Theatre for working hand-in-hand with us to ensure the safety of our artists, crew, volunteers, farmers and fans.”
Venue and Farm Aid staff are following the latest CDC guidance and industry best practices related to limiting the transmission of COVID-19, including various precautions across the operation. Farm Aid will continue to monitor the situation closely and update protocols as warranted leading up to Sept. 25.
Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and Margo Price host an annual festival to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. For more than 35 years, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised more than $60 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.