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Neil Young, John Mellencamp + More Turn Out for Farm Aid 2012

Willie Nelson and Neil Young
Timothy Hiatt, Getty Images

At 22 years and counting, Farm Aid is one of the longest-running rock festivals around — but as far as co-founder Willie Nelson is concerned, the fact that the show still exists is actually something of a disappointment.

“I’m very sorry that we have to be here, because this problem should have been solved many years ago,” Nelson told reporters before this year’s show, held Saturday (Sept. 22) in Hersheypark, Pa. “We were all young men when we started this,” added John Mellencamp, pointing out that “We’ve helped a lot of people. I’m proud to be here every year and stand up for family farmers.”

For their fellow co-founder Neil Young, it’s a fight worth continuing indefinitely. “We are not going anywhere — we are going to stay right here and fight as long as we can stand,” he vowed. “Farmers out there have got to get together, even more than they have so far, so that all farmers have a big voice.” He encouraged American youth to enter farming, saying, “Be a rebel. Become a farmer. It’s a mission from God. We need young blood on the farm.”

This year’s lineup drew a healthy crowd of 30,000 to the stadium — not surprising given that, in addition to Nelson, Mellencamp, and Young, the day boasted performances from Jack Johnson, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Dave Matthews, and Kenny Chesney. Check out some fan footage shot during Young’s set, capturing Neil and Crazy Horse tearing through ‘Mr. Soul.’

Neil Young and Crazy Horse, ‘Mr. Soul’ (Live at Farm Aid 2012)

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