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Farm Aid started as a benefit concert held September 22, 1985, in Champaign, Illinois, to raise money for family farmers in the United States. The concert was organized by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, spurred on by Bob Dylan's comments at Live Aid earlier in that year that he hoped some of the money would help American farmers in danger of losing their farms through mortgage debt. The first concert was at University of Illinois' Memorial Stadium in Champaign on September 22 before a crowd of 80,000 people. Performers included Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, B.B. King, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty, among others, and raised over $9 million for U.S. family farmers.
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