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More than 26,000 attend Farm Aid in Chicago

Thousands came together on Northerly Island over the weekend during the 30th anniversary of Farm Aid.

Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host the concert annually to raise money and support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers. Since holding its first concert in 1985 in Champaign, Ill., it has raised $48 million over the years to support programs that help farmers thrive.

Slightly more than 26,000 people attended this year’s festival Saturday at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion, according to Brittany Vanderpool, a spokeswoman for the event. It wasn’t clear Sunday afternoon how much money had been raised.

“When we started Farm Aid, a crisis was gripping farm country,” Willie Nelson, president and founder of Farm Aid, said. “Farm Aid called on America to stand up for family farmers. They showed up then, and they’re still showing up. All different types of people are coming together for family farmers, and we’re making a difference.”

Willie Nelson performs at Farm Aid 30 at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island on Saturday. | Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP

Neil Young performs at Farm Aid 30 at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island on Saturday. | Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP