September 12

Raise your Hands for Farm Aid 2017

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I’m sure ya’ll are excited for the Farm Aid concert at the KeyBank Pavilion on Saturday. The tickets are already sold-out and so they have released more details this.

As promised, the full lineup for the 32nd annual concert will feature board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds, as well as Sheryl Crow, Jack Johnson, The Avett Brothers, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Jamey Johnson, Margo Price, Blackberry Smoke, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Valerie June, Insects vs Robots, and Blackwood Quartet.

The gates open at noon, and the concert will begin at 12:30 p.m.

Here are other things to expect and look forward to during the event:

The local flavor consists of Homegrown Concessions that will serve family farm-sourced food that is sustainably produced by family farmers utilizing ecological practices with a commitment to a fair price for farmers. Concessions will feature menu items from local area farms

Special menus are also prepared by Legends Hospitality chefs especially for Farm Aid 2017 that adhere to Farm Aid’s criteria. There is a lot on the menu and they sure are mouth watering so be sure to try them all out. Two “Fresh Store” stands will vend farm fresh salads and local cheeses, pickles, pickled local eggs and baguettes made with local, organic flour.

A farm stand called the Homegrown Youthmarket will be staffed by local youth from Grow Pittsburgh and the Grange will sell fresh local fruit, including apples, plums, pears, peaches and organic kiwi berries.

Of course, there should be beverages at the venue. They will feature Bonterra Organic Vineyards and local craft beers. Craft ciders will be featured at the PA Preferred stand.

From noon to 5:30 p.m., don’t forget to check out Farm Aid’s Homegrown Village which will feature hands-on activities that give festival-goers a chance to meet farmers, dig in and learn about the ways farmers enrich our soil, protect our water, grow our economy and bring us good food for good health.

In the Village, festival-goers can design their own yard and calculate the carbon savings of growing food instead of lawns; learn masonry skills to build walls with Pennsylvania’s new crop, hemp; and get up close and personal with the microbes that live in healthy organic soil.

If you want to learn how to make compost, amend soils, transform hemp stalks into paper, ferment pickles, make pollinator-friendly seed balls and learn about seed saving; it’s all here as well.

Throughout the day, Julie Grant and Kara Holsopple, hosts of The Allegheny Front public radio program, will moderate live briefings from artists and farmers on important issues in food and farming.

At any event like this, there will definitely some food wastage but don’t worry, 412 Food Rescue will coordinate the rescue of leftover food. All leftover food will be donated to a public housing complex in Washington County. This rescue will be the first in area code 724.

Farm Aid is partnering with the Greater Washington County Food Bank to collect nonperishable food items from concertgoers at the main entrances to KeyBank Pavilion. Food donations will support the more than 25,000 people in Washington County. The greatest need is for food items that can be used in school lunch sacks and after-school programs. Concertgoers can bring nonperishable food items that are in boxes, cans or plastic bottles (no glass).

If you also want to bring home a souvenir item, Farm Aid 2017 event T-shirts are available and they are made in the U.S. from organic cotton.

Finally, for those of you who can’t get the tickets anymore, worry not because you can tune in at home. The event will be broadcasted on AXS TV live from 7 p.m. or on a webcast at will begin at 3 p.m.

Willie Nelson’s SiriusXM channel (59), Willie’s Roadhouse, will air live from Farm Aid 2017, beginning at 12 p.m.

For event updates, follow Farm Aid on Twitter (@FarmAid), Facebook ( and Instagram (, and visit

Wow! Farm Aid 2017 has a lot in store for us all. I’m really excited because, besides the concerts, we know it’s for a good cause.


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