Bob Dylan was the surprise guest at Farm Aid 2023, which took place Saturday, September 23, in Noblesville, Indiana.
The legendary artist wasn’t on the announced lineup but turned up to the Rouff Music Center to treat the crowd to a twenty-minute set. According to setlist.fm, Dylan was backed by The Heartbreakers and performed three tracks: “Maggie’s Farm,” for the first time since 2003, “Positively 4th Street,” for the first time since 2013, and “Ballad of a Thin Man.”
Dylan’s appearance was notable, as it was his comments about the plight of U.S. farmers at Live Aid in 1985 that sparked the idea for Farm Aid.
But Dylan was far from the only big name on the bill. The organization’s board members, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews and Margo Price also performed, along with Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros featuring The Wolfpack and more.
This was Young’s first return to Farm Aid since 2019, and he performed a short set that included “Comes A Time,” “Are There Any More Real Cowboys,” “Love Earth” and “Heart of Gold.” Mellencamp treated the crowd to eight songs, including classics like “Small Town,” “Jack & Diane,” “Rain on the Scarecrow” and more.
Willie closed the show with a full 18-song set that included “On The Road Again,” “Always On My Mind” and others, with many of the artists joining him for his closing numbers, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”/”I’ll Fly Away” and “It’s Hard to Be Humble.”
Farm Aid raises funds in support of family farmers, and fans can still help. A Farm Aid 2023 silent auction is running until October 6, offering autographed guitars, posters, books, albums and more from this year’s artists. All proceeds benefit Farm Aid.
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