Annual Farm Aid benefit concert returning to Pennsylvania

The annual Farm Aid benefit concert is coming back to Pennsylvania for just the third time since it began in 1985.

It will be held Sept. 16 at KeyBank Pavilion, an outdoor amphitheater in Burgettstown about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Pittsburgh. The festival was first held in Pennsylvania at the same venue in 2002, though it operated under a different name at that time. It also was held in Hershey in 2012.

Performers this year include Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds. Other acts include Jack Johnson, The Avett Brothers, Sheryl Crow, Jamey Johnson, Blackberry Smoke, Valerie June, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and Insects vs Robots. Other acts will be announced later.

Tickets ranging from $49.50 to $199.50 go on sale June 23 at, Ticketmaster and by phone. Some presale tickets go on sale Wednesday at

The concerts have raised more than $50 million for programs that assist farmers and widen the influence of the Good Food Movement and support family farms over corporate agriculture. Last year's event at Jiffy Lube Live in the Washington, D. C. suburb of Bristow, Virginia, raised $1.1 million for family farmers.

Organizers decided to bring the festival back to western Pennsylvania where local farms have helped the economy weather the ups and downs of the coal and natural gas industries. There are more than 17,000 farms in western Pennsylvania comprising 2.3 million acres.

"Family farm agriculture is the heart of Pennsylvania," Farm Aid President and Founder Willie Nelson said in a statement. "What's happening in western Pennsylvania and the region shows us that we can count on family farmers to strengthen our communities and connect people. Whether we live in rural or urban places, food — and music — brings us all together."