Willie Update!

Nelson, Mellencamp Bring Farm Aid To New York

On the afternoon of June 11th Billboard Magazine reported this story about Willie’s Farm Aid.

Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp joined New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and a host of local farmers today (June 11) amid the Union Square Green Market to announce a Sept. 9 date for the annual Farm Aid benefit at Randall’s Island. As usual, the artists will be joined by fellow Farm Aid board members Neil Young and Dave Matthews at the event.

“This will be the first Farm Aid that provides 100% homegrown food at the concert,” Mellencamp said proudly. Acknowledging the organic market just a few hundred feet away, Nelson said, “This is a great example of what can be done in the big cities.”

Farm Aid, which is now in its 22nd year, will dovetail with a new biofuel initiative in New York. Beginning next summer, 30% of the city’s heating oil purchases will be required to contain 5% biofuel, with a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.

Nelson was one of the first biofuel champions in the music world and recalled being puzzled when his wife first told him she was interested in purchasing a biofuel-compatible Volkswagen Jetta. “I thought she might have finally found my Maui stash,” he joked, to uproarious applause. “[Biodisel] is the future. There’s a huge demand out there — now we need to increase the supply.”

Bloomberg, who joked that he’d written a song called “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Mayors” with Mellencamp and Nelson on the latter’s tour bus, said the September concert is expected to infuse $13 million into the city’s economy.

Backstage after the press conference, Mellencamp told Billboard.com that although Farm Aid still has major hurdles to clear in its efforts to aid family farmers, he is touched by what has been accomplished so far.

“The most amazing thing I’ve ever seen was when [family farms] were hit really bad [in the early ’90s],” he recalled. “We were able to provide mental health services for farmers who were on the verge of suicide; a phone call, or a couple of counseling sessions. I’ve had people tell me that without Farm Aid, they would have killed themselves.”

Story was written by Jonathan Cohen, N.Y


Starring Willie Nelson & Family
With special guests Son Volt, Old 97’s, Drive-By Truckers, and Amos Lee
Fourth Of July, 2007
On Sale Saturday, May 12 at 9:00 AM

Seattle, WA – Live Nation welcomes Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic featuring Willie Nelson & Family, Son Volt, Old 97’s, Drive-By Truckers and Amos Lee to The Gorge on The Fourth Of July, 2007 at 4:00 p.m.

For the first time in 33 years, Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic will venture outside his home state of Texas. From its beginning in 1973 in Dripping Springs, Texas, the event has been hosted in various incarnations in cities throughout Texas. Its main purpose was to bring musicians and fans from all walks of life together to celebrate the day. From 1995-1999, the event was held in Luchenbach, before moving to Austin in 2000.

Since its inception, the Picnic has drawn over a quarter-million music lovers, due to the iconic status and performances of Nelson and his impressive array of musicians. This year’s Picnic takes another bold step forward, as in addition to Nelson & Family, he’s tapped alt country vets Son Volt, the recently reunited Old 97’s, southern rockers Drive-By Truckers and singer-songwriter Amos Lee to join help celebrate our nation’s birthday.

The Gorge Amphitheater, located in George, Washington, is a nine time winner of Pollstar Magazine‘s award for North American’s Best Outdoor Music Venue. What better place to celebrate The Fourth of July than in George Washington at the storied Gorge Amphitheater with an American treasure.

Tickets are $79.00, $59.00 and $49.00 and $35.00 along with specially priced 4-PACK Lawn Tickets available for $99.00. Tickets go on sale Saturday, May 12 at 9:00 a.m. at all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com or livenation.com or charge by phone at (206) 628-0888, in Eastern Washington at (509) 735-0500, or in Oregon at (503) 224-4400. All tickets subject to applicable service charges and fees. Dates and times subject to change without notice.
[Published on 5/2/2007]

Published in: on June 15, 2007 at 6:24 am  Leave a Comment  

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