I’m going to Farm Aid.
It’s in St. Louis this year. That’s a once, maybe twice in a lifetime thing. If you’re unaware of what Farm Aid is, it’s essentially an annual concert designed to help family farms avoid being shut down due to foreclosure. (This may be very important to my family one day if my aunt Stella doesn’t get back on her feet and the feds want to invade Goobertown.) It actually started when Bob Dylan commented at a Live Aid in (I think) ’85 that he hoped a little of the money would go to family farms to help them not have to sell to the government. Willie Nelson took it one step further than Dylan (who got his applause and walked away) and organized a concert alongside Neil Young and John “Don’t Call Me ‘Cougar'” Mellencamp. It’s been a recurring thing since 1985. There have been 20+ shows. This is the first time in St. Louis.
Okay…so I’ll have to put up with Dave Matthews…but at least he’s doing an acoustic-duo thing and won’t have the whole Dave Matthews Bland there…
But I’m excited about the show. I’ve seen Willie before, and he puts on a good show. Never seen Neil Young, and I’m a big fan. That’s going to be great. I like seeing guys like Neil do their thing, anyway…but how much cooler will it be to see him doing a show behind a cause he believes in? (Other acts are being announced…I’m hoping for like a last-minute Springsteen add or something like that…but I won’t hope too hard, ha ha.)
The show takes place on October 4th (which might make for a cold show out at the pavilion). That’s the day before my Dad’s birthday…so Dave and I bought him a ticket. That’ll be fun. It’s been a long time since Dave, Dad, and I went to a show like this one. Sure, we saw the Drive-By Truckers (twice), but this is a BIG show. An amphitheatre. Acts that are household names. I love DBT (also a good choice for the tour, if they’ve got a free night…but again, I won’t hold out too much hope), but y’know…there’s just something special about seeing a show where there’s 20,000 other people there, as opposed to 1,000.
Plus, as I’ve said elsewhere, I kind of believe in the cause. I’m not a member of the organization or anything. I’ve never given money to it in the past…but when it’s in my hometown and I’ve got the cash…why not? They do good work on behalf of people who need help keeping the bankers off their lawn. That’s something I’m always behind. No one PLANS to get behind on their payments and lose a farm that’s been in their family for five generations. No one plans on the crop being miserable because it rained too much (or too little), so there’s nothing to sell. No one plans on the person who runs the farm getting sick or dying, and suddenly you can’t make a living off of it anymore—even though it’s all you know. But it happens. A lot… And in the fast food world, farms just don’t get any attention anymore (unless they’re the government-run ones that are accidentally selling cabbage that’s carrying e-coli). I can get behind this kind of cause. I’m glad to do my little bit—even if I’m more motivated by the concert than anything else. Sure, I’m getting some bang for my buck…but since when is that a bad thing?
So anyway…that’s cool…and I’m sure I’ll say more about it as it gets closer and more bands are announced. For now, I’ve got my ticket, and I’m happy about it. 🙂