Confirmed Direct bookmark:
(updated Tuesday, 14-Aug-2018 17:55:59 AEST)
Date of show: October 4 (Moved! See News Flash)
(See the show reviews.)

Venue: Farm Aid 97 at World Music Theatre
      (Link is to 1996 Farm Aid pages.)

City/Town (nearest): Tinley Park, Illinois (Chicago area)

Read What Farm Aid Means to a Rustie, below!

Also appearing:
Willie Nelson
John Melloncamp
John Fogerty
Alman Brothers
Dave Mathews Band
many others
Ticket Prices: ?
Tickets on sale: Monday, Sept. 22
Seating chart: Here's one.

Getting there: Here are directions.

Other info: Television Coverage on The Nashville Network starts at 6:00pm EDT.

Rust Info
Coordinator: Cliff Zelinsky
RustFest: Cliff Zelinsky
Banner Carrier: Kathy Hippy Girl's Smile Popple

What Farm Aid Means To Me

by Mark H. Johnson

I wanted to share my story about farming and family. I was raised in a farm community in South Carolina. My Dad and Granddad owned and worked a farm until I was in middle school. The farm wasn't as successful as we always hoped it would be and we had to put everything, including my Grandparents' home, up for sale.

The all-too-familiar auction was called. All the neighbors made it to the auction. I sat in a distant field to watch the neighbors arrive in their trucks and I could identify almost everyone in attendance. There was no way I was going to walk around my own backyard as we sold everything we owned to the neighbors and to strangers from other cities. This was our land and our Life.

Luckily, a good friend and more successful farmer bought the land and the house for my Grandparents and agreed to let them live rent free until my Granddad passed away and my Grandmother moved in with my Aunt. She just recently passed in April and with her passed a lot of sad feelings of loss and frustration. The entire family farm was gone within a week's time.

My brother and I always talked about how we would farm the land and continue what my Granddad and his Father had started with two mules and a plow back in the 20's. Today, my brother is a hired farmer for some other farmer in South Carolina and I live here in the Pacific Northwest trying to start something new with my wife (and soon-to-be little one).

Whenever I go home, I drive out to the old farm site and think about my folks and how much I miss those days when we had something real. Real as the smell of freshly plowed soil and the itch of haybales.

Farm Aid to me is something I can identify with. Of course, times were hard on everyone back in the 80's and we did the best we could with what we had. I just feel like we shorted the past and the future all at the same time. Mellancamp's Scarecrow still puts chills on my arm when I pick up the guitar.

Neil's work with Farm Aid is something that attracted me to Neil in the beginning, and something I still admire and support. It's not about the cheapest salad or the cleanest hamburger -- it's about the backbone of this country. Thanks for your support of Farm Aid! The family farmers really appreciate your concern and our attempts to "right the wrong".

And to all you Rusties in Texas who lost your chance to see the show, keep on Rustin' -- I know there are plenty of farms in Texas, just like in Illinois, and they all need your support. And not just on October 4th.

I wanted to share my testimony with the Rust community so we can focus on the real issue. I invite others with similar experiences to please share your stories.

By the way, I will be glued to TNN on October 4th for the great music, including the new Allman Brothers Band line-up and for the Neilster. Yeah, I can get annoyed by the constant commercials and the 1-900 numbers; but then I tell myself it's all for the cause and that's the bottom line. Peace.

A Comet in the Sky Tonight >>>>8
***Throw Your Hatred Down***
Mark H. Johnson
Family Homepage->