When Bob Dylan blithely suggested that one or two million dollars raised during Live Aid be given to American farmers to assist in the payment of their mortgages, he not only likely pissed off Bob Geldof but became the catalyst for Farm Aid. Two decades later, Live Aid has morphed into Live 8 and been coopted into Live Earth; Farm Aid though has remained constant. Under the auspices of Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, Farm Aid has become a yearly event since its inaugural 1985 show in Champaign, Illinois.
For its 22nd edition, Farm Aid will be moving from the Heartland to the Big City with this year's show taking place September 9, 2007 at New York City's Randall's Island. For those worrying that a concrete jungle makes an inappropriate venue for a rural benefit, have no fear: not only is Randall's Island so inconveniently removed from the heart of the city, if the weather is dry, it will turn into a veritable Grapes Of Wrath Dust Bowl. If Farm Aid is beset by Randall's Island's traditionally hellacious concert conditions, Willie Nelson may regret his glib rationale for the locale. "More people eat [in New York City] than probably anywhere else in the world, so where better to go?" the country legend reportedly stated.