There’s something to be said for consistency – go to Farm Aid and you see John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Neil Young and Dave Matthews. For this year’s inaugural show in New York, they’ll be joined by Counting Crows, the Allman Brothers Band, Montgomery Gentry and the Derek Trucks Band, among others, Farm Aid announced Wednesday.
The concert will be held Sept. 9 on Randalls Island, an island just east of Manhattan.
“I’ve always felt we should do it in New York because New Yorkers consume so much food,” Mellencamp told Nelson, Mellencamp and Young organized the first Farm Aid in 1985, figuring one year would be enough to convince the government to adopt policies to help family farmers.
“We were naive,” Mellencamp said. Farm Aid, which has raised more than $30 million over the past two decades, has evolved into an organization that helps small farmers in financial crisis and promotes organically raised foods. Farm Aid hopes next month to have the first major concert with all local, family-farmed food served.
Farm Aid has been reaching out to the big cities recently. Last year’s concert was in Camden, N.J., just outside of Philadelphia, and Chicago was the host in 2005.
Nelson and Young have performed at every show, with Mellencamp missing only one when he was recuperating from a heart attack. Matthews, who performs this year in tandem with guitar wizard Tim Reynolds, has been on the bill regularly for more than a decade.
Guster, Matisyahu and the Ditty Bops are among the newcomers this year. The Ditty Bops have just completed a green-themed tour where they rode bicycles to different venues across the country.
Warren Haynes and the Supersuckers are also on the bill.
“If people eat, they should come and support Farm Aid,” Mellencamp said.