Farm Aid 35th Anniversary


Paul Nankin

On September 23, 2020, The 21st looked back at one of the most iconic music concerts in Illinois history. On the September 22, 1985, the first annual Farm Aid concert ran for 12 hours at the University of Illinois' Memorial Stadium in Champaign. It was a who’s who lineup of music’s biggest artists performing as an estimated 80,000 people packed the stadium.  Organized by musicians Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Neil Young, the concert raised $7 million dollars for family farmers.

The 21st spoke to people who were there and had memories to share. 


John Paul, former news anchor for WCIA-Channel 3 in Champaign

Wei Wei Jeang, former student at UIUC who attended Farm Aid concert in 1985. She is now a patent and trademark attorney at a law firm in Dallas, Texas.  

Mike Haile, General Manager and morning host at WHMS-FM, WDWS-AM, WKIO-FM and Lite Rock 97.5 in Champaign-Urbana 


Prepared for web by Zainab Qureshi

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