September 15, 2014
Farm Aid started in 1985 as a benefit concert 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, among others, and raised over $9 million for America's family farmers. Today, Farm Aid is an organization that works to increase awareness of the importance of family farms, and puts on an annual concert of country, blues and rock music with a variety of stars. To date they have raised over $45 million dollars for family farms. The board of directors includes Nelson, Mellencamp, Young, and Dave Matthews.
At the 29th annual Farm Aid concert this year in Raleigh, North Carolina, eBay joined Farm Aid onsite to engage attendees to bid on items and memorabilia listed through eBay Giving Works to fundraise for Farm Aid. In addition to performances by all four board members, the ten hour festival featured Jack White, Gary Clark Jr, Jamey Johnson, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Delta Rae, Todd Snider and many others. Past and present performers autographed guitars, posters, t-shirts and other memorabilia which are currently available on eBay, with 100% of the proceeds going to benefit Farm Aid.
eBay was on hand at the festival to engage the 60,000+ attendees in bidding on the auction items using their mobile phones. eBay provided a fun incentive to get attendees involved, offering those that bid on the auction items while visiting the eBay Giving Works tent the opportunity to spin a prize wheel and win an eBay Gift Card. eBay handed out over $2,500 in prizes at the festival and helped to connect attendees with unique Farm Aid memorabilia all for a great cause.
The charity auction ends Monday, September 22nd at 7:00 PM (PST). Visit http://www.farmaidauctions.org/ to check out the items and have a chance to own a piece of Farm Aid history plus support family farms in the United States.