American icon Willie Nelson hosts the longest-running music with a mission event, Farm Aid 2018, as it returns to AXS TV. The network presents a special broadcast airing from 7pE/4pP to 12aE/9pP on Saturday, September 22. An encore broadcast will immediately follow at 12aE. The landmark event marks the fifth consecutive year that AXS TV will air Farm Aid’s festival.
2018 finds the annual Farm Aid festival rolling into Connecticut for the first time ever, as some of music’s biggest names join together to raise awareness about the importance of America’s family farmers at XFINITY Theatre in Hartford. The eclectic lineup is headlined by music legend—and Farm Aid founder—Willie Nelson, and also includes fellow board members John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Dave Matthews (performing with Tim Reynolds), as well as favorites such as Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Kacey Musgraves, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Jamey Johnson[JF1], Margo Price and Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real, among many others. All of the artists donate their performances in support of family farmers.
The broadcast airs as part of a star-studded Saturday Stack lineup that puts the spotlight on Farm Aid mainstays Young, Nelson, Mellencamp and Matthews with a day of in-depth interviews and unforgettable concerts starting at 12pE. The festivities begin with three episodes of The Big Interview, as Dan Rather sits down with Neil Young for a wide-ranging conversation covering his fight against corporations, his childhood bout with polio, and his own mortality; then, at 1pE, Willie Nelson opens up about the history and impact of Farm Aid, and the state of marijuana in America; and, at 2pE, John Mellencamp discusses his acclaimed career, his passion for painting, and the current political landscape.
The block continues at 3pE as John Mellencamp takes the stage in the Windy City to deliver a night of memories and music featuring “Small Town,” “Pink Houses,” “Cherry Bomb,” and more in Plain Spoken: John Mellencamp. Next, Willie Nelson & Family blaze through an intimate career-spanning set that includes “Whiskey River,” “Trouble In Mind,” and “Just Because You Asked Me To,” in Willie Nelson: Soundstage at 4:30pE; followed by Weekend On The Rocks, a comprehensive concert film compiling the top highlights from Dave Matthews’ four-day set at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, featuring “Time Of The Season,” “Smooth Rider,” and “Crash Into Me,” at 5:30pE. And the in-depth profile series Rock Legends takes viewers inside the highs and lows of the short-lived supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at 6:30pE.