HomeMusicClassic HitsOn This Day, September 22, 1985: The first Farm Aid is held in IllinoisOn This Day, September 22, 1985: The first Farm Aid is held in IllinoisFri, September 22, 2023 by ABC News SHARE NOW On This Day, September 22, 1985… Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp headlined the first-ever Farm Aid concert in Champaign, Illinois. The trio organized the all-star event to raise money to help family farmers in the United States. They were inspired by comments Bob Dylan made during the Live Aid concerts, in which he said he hoped some of the money could go to help struggling farmers. Dylan also performed at the first Farm Aid, as did Billy Joel, Tom Petty, B.B. King, Loretta Lynn and Roy Orbison. The first concert raised over $9 million. Since then Farm Aid has held concerts almost every year, with the 2023 edition scheduled for September 23 in Noblesville, Indiana. A full lineup can be found at farmaid.org. Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.