HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - An all-day music festival featuring some of the biggest names in music and good food took place in the capital city yesterday.
Saturday Sept. 22 marks the first Farm Aid concert in Connecticut, featuring some of the biggest names in music.
Ahead of the main event, food and farm activists toured farms across the state on Friday.
The festival took place on Saturday at the Xfinity Theater in Hartford.
Back in 1985, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and John Mellencamp organized the first Farm Aid concert to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on the land.
"We never intended for this to be an annual thing. It was Farm Aid 1, and 2, and 3," said Farm Aid Producer Ron Stern.
Dave Matthews joined the Farm Aid board of directors in 2001 and together, they’ve been hosting the all-day festival that brings together incredible music, good food, and hands-on activities to get people in touch with the roots of our food.
Over the years, Farm Aid has raised more than $53 million, and this year the festival will be celebrating the thousands of farms in Connecticut.
"We've been looking at Hartford for a while... it's a market we really wanted to be at," Stern said.
Concert-goers will enjoy family farm-sourced food that meet certain criteria. Food is donated, but they also get it right from the local communities.
"I go out into the community ad find the farmers in the local area and they make a sale. They come to Farm Aid and say, 'Oh. I'm here with the lamb! I'm here with the pork'," said Sonya Dagovitz, culinary director for Farm Aid.
Farm Aid's work continues year-round.
"The money that we bring in at Farm Aid will go towards supporting our programs and building awareness and helping to foster and bolster the movement for good food from family farmers," said Caroline Fiore, development manager for Farm Aid.
For more information about this festival, including who’s performing and ways you can help local farmers, click here.