Farm Aid will return to Noblesville, IN after more than 20 years for an agricultural benefit at Ruoff Music Center in 2023. Topping the lineup for the annual concert are Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews (with Tim Reynolds), Margo Price, and Neil Young, who is playing his first Farm Aid since 2019 (though he did play the virtual event in 2020).
Also set to appear at the day-long event on Saturday, September 23rd are Bob Weir & Wolf Bros featuring The Wolfpack, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Lukas Nelson, Allison Russell, The String Cheese Incident, and Particle Kid. Much of the lineup bears a striking resemblance to the rotating cast of artists on Willie’s ongoing Outlaw Festival tour, but with many of the top artists consolidated on one bill.
This year will mark just the third Farm Aid concert in the event co-founder John Mellencamp’s home state of Indiana, and the second in Noblesville. The fourth Farm Aid took place in Indianapolis in 1990, with the 2001 edition (dubbed “A Concert For America” and staged just weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks) occurring in Noblesville at the venue then known as Deer Creek.
“We are honored and excited to bring the Farm Aid experience back to Indiana,” Mellencamp said. “My home state holds deep meaning for me and for the generations of family farmers who have dedicated their lives to caring for the Earth and bringing us good food.”
The move to Indiana goes much deeper than Mellencamp’s Hoosier roots. Indiana is the eighth largest farming state in the nation, generating $31.2 billion annually. There are more than 94,000 farmers in the state, tending to 56,649 farms with an average size of 264 acres. Over 80% of the state is occupied by farms, forests, and woodlands.
At the same time, Indiana has the most polluted rivers of any state, with a recent sample study finding almost all of Indiana’s lakes and reservoirs unfit for drinking water. In the face of this dire situation, Indiana farmers have led the way in implementing practices to address climate change including “cover cropping, rotating crops, reducing soil tillage, integrating livestock and crop production, raising pastured livestock, and improving soil and water management,” per Farm Aid.
“Family farmers have the solutions to some of our toughest challenges,” Farm Aid President and Founder Willie Nelson said. “As we face a changing climate, farmers in Indiana, across the Midwest and all over the country are farming in ways that create more resilient farms to build healthy soils and protect our water.”
Attendees can taste the fruits of Indiana’s farming community for themselves at the Farm Aid Homegrown Concessions, featuring diverse, fresh offerings made using ingredients sourced from local farmers who use ecological practices and are paid a fair price. The concert’s Homegrown Village will also host hands-on activities and engaging exhibits about soil, water, energy, food, and farming.
A pre-sale for tickets to Farm Aid 2023 begins on Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET via Live Nation, with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp fan club pre-sales happening on Thursday at 10 a.m. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Saturday at 10 a.m. ET and rage from $75 to $315.