For the first time since 2001 and just the third time in the history of the event, the Willie Nelson-founded Farm Aid Festival is returning to Indiana for an all-day music event in September.

The first Farm Aid Festival took place at Memorial Stadium on the campus of the University of Illinois on September 22nd, 1985, and featured over 50 artists from a wide range of genres including founder and organizers, Willie Nelson, Bloomington, Indiana native, John Mellecamp, and Neil Young. The inaugural event also featured Alabama, The Charlie Daniels Band, Bon Jovi, Huey Lewis, and The Beach Boys, among others. That show gave us this amazing collaboration between Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.

In the years since that first festival, the locations and artist lineups have changed (with the exception of Willie, Mellencamp, and Young, who have performed at each one), but the goal has remained the same — "raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on the land."

Since its inception, the festival has raised over $70 million for farmers across America.

Farm Aid 2023 Coming to Ruoff Music Center on Saturday, September 23rd

Nearly 38 years to the day of that first festival in Champaign, Illinois, Farm Aid will make its return to Indiana on Saturday, September 23rd at the Ruoff Music Center (still called Deer Creek Amphitheater by many Hoosiers). While it won't boast the over 50 artists who were part of the original festival, the lineup will include founders Nelson, Mellencamp, and Young, along with Dave Matthews who joined the Farm Aid Board of Directors in 2001. Other artists scheduled to perform include:

  • Margo Price
  • Bobby Wier & Wolf Bros. feat. Wolfpack
  • Lukas Nelson
  • Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
  • Allison Russell
  • The String Cheese Incident
  • Particle Kid

According to the festival's website, more artists are to be announced in the weeks leading up to the event.

2023 Farm Aid Ticket Information

Tickets in hand

A limited number of presale tickets will be available starting today (Wednesday, July 12th) beginning at 9:00 AM Central / 10:00 AM Eastern until 5:00 PM on Thursday, July 13th, or until all allotted presale tickets have sold out, whichever comes first. I'm not a bettin' man, but my guess is the sell-out part will happen first.

If you don't manage to snag tickets during the presale, the general on sale will start at 9:00 AM Central / 10:00 AM Eastern on Saturday, July 15th through LiveNation and will cost anywhere from $75 to $315 each before taxes and fees.

[Sources: Farm Aid / Wikipedia]

2023 Country Music Festivals Guide

Enjoy an updated list of country music's best festivals, across America, Canada, Great Britain and more. This list of 2023 country fests will be updated to reflect postponements, cancelations or lineup adjustments.

LOOK: Where people in Indiana are moving to most

Stacker compiled a list of states where people from Indiana are moving to the most using data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

More From My WJLT 105.3