Farm Aid 2018: Watch Willie, Neil Highlights

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Willie Nelson performing at Farm Aid 2018, September 22, 2018

The annual Farm Aid music and food festival was held in Connecticut for the first time on September 22 at XFINITY Theatre in Hartford, Conn. When tickets went on sale on June 29, they sold out immediately.

Farm Aid 2018 featured performances by board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds, as well as Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Kacey Musgraves, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Particle Kid, Jamey Johnson and Ian Mellencamp.

The concert aired live on AXS TV and SiriusXM. Willie Nelson & Family played a 13-song set that included three Hank Williams covers.

Watch Willie Nelson & Family perform “Move it On Over”

Neil Young & promise of the Real offered a tight 8-song set, including two classic rock favorites.

Watch Neil Young & Promise of the Real perform “Heart of Gold”

Watch them perform “Ohio”

This year, according to a press release, “The organization undertakes the planning of Farm Aid 2018 in an economic climate similar to the one that sparked the first Farm Aid concert. Net farm income has dropped 53 percent since 2013 and median farm income is expected to be -$1,316 in 2018. In New England alone, more than 10,000 family dairy farmers have gone out of business since 1970. Farmer stress is growing, and a 2016 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the suicide rate for people working in agriculture, fishing and forestry is nearly five times that of the general population.

Related: Our recap of Neil Young’s 2017 Farm Aid set

Watch “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” / “I’ll Fly Away,” with Willie Nelson & Family joined onstage by Young, Rateliff and others.

Farm Aid’s mission, according to the 2018 press release, 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 and Dave Matthews 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 30 years, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised more than $53 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.

Watch Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats’ great cover of the Band’s “The Shape I’m In,” joined by Margo Price and Lukas Nelson

Related: Our introduction to Nathaniel Rateliff, a big new name


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