There’s no better place to hear “Kick the Dust Up” or “Rain is a Good Thing” than on a farm.
And that’s what you’ll get Thursday when country star Luke Bryan kicks off his annual farm tour at the Benes Farm just outside of Lincoln.
Bryan’s tour aims to bring awareness and support to farms, and a portion of the proceeds goes to a college scholarship fund benefiting students from farm families.
But he’s not the first to play a Nebraska farm or put on a big show with the intent to help farmers.
We took a look back at past shows happening on, in and around farms, pastures and the rest of Nebraska’s wide open spaces.
Farm Aid III
Sept. 19, 1987
The biggest concert held in Nebraska raked in $1.9 million to help financially strapped farmers. Broadcast live around the country, Farm Aid brought about 69,000 people to Memorial Stadium for a 10-hour concert featuring Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Steppenwolf, Vince Gill, John Denver, Lyle Lovett, Lou Reed, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Joe Walsh and several others.
Launched in 2009, Bryan’s Farm Tour has performed several shows every fall. Bryan even released a special EP, “Farm Tour … Here’s to the Farmer,” in 2016. The five-song release features tunes such as “I Do All My Dreamin’ Here,” “Love Me In a Field” and “Southern Gentleman.” The Benes Farm is just west of Lincoln at 701 S.W. 63rd St., just south of West O Street.
Harvest the Hope
Sept. 27, 2014
Almost three decades after Farm Aid, Willie Nelson and Neil Young once again teamed up to play a Nebraska benefit show. This time, the concert protested the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that was set to run through Nebraska. About 7,000 people bought tickets to the sold-out show. Nelson was adamant that he and other protesters be heard. “People with a voice should use it,” Nelson told The World-Herald. “Everyone has a voice of one kind or another.”
Comstock Windmill Festival
This annual show is billed as “the world’s largest pasture party.” It takes place each June on a farm near Comstock in central Nebraska. It typically draws thousands of people to see headliners such as Brad Paisley, Keith Urban and Josh Gracin. There’s also Comstock Rock, which has featured Def Leppard, ZZ Top and others. The festival series went away for a few years but returned in 2017.