Even though the Brewers' disappointing season comes to a close this weekend, Miller Park will be rockin' thanks to Farm Aid 25, which you certainly know by now, takes place in the ballyard on Saturday.
Gates open at noon and the music starts at 1 p.m.
On tap are "board artists" Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews (who performs tomorrow with Tim Reynolds), along with Kenny Chesney, Norah Jones, Jason Mraz, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, Jamey Johnson, Band of Horses, The BoDeans, Amos Lee, Robert Francis, Lukas Nelson and The Promise of the Real, The Blackwood Quartet and Randy Rogers Band.
No official schedule has been announced because there is always the potential for change. Witness the late addition of Johnson to the line-up. And Farm Aid staffers told me this morning that a lot of the artists like to jump up onstage with others on the bill for spontaneous duets and that also makes it hard to plot an exact schedule in advance.
Stay tuned to the Farm Aid Web site, however, as a line-up schedule is expected to be announced later today or early tomorrow.
Jennifer Fahy, Farm Aid communications director, told me this morning that despite what you might think, organizers can't really work too far ahead on the annual concert and Milwaukee only really came into the mix as host of the 25th annual concert a few months ago.
"We really started looking at Wisconsin in spring," she said. "Our goal is to bring our concert to the people and to the farmers around the country. The agriculture here is amazing. There is such a diverse crop offering that farmers are offering and family farm agriculture is so central here so it's an amazing place for Farm Aid to be.
"Wisconsin is place where we see those challenges, especially right now in the dairy industry. So it's a great place to talk about all the wonderful things and all the challenges like corporate concentration."
Fahy said Wisconsin and Minnesota -- thanks to their concentration of agricultural and the fact that they are heavily affected by the issues that face farmers -- have always been high on Farm Aid's list. She wouldn't, however, say that Minneapolis will host next year's event, because, she admitted, even Farm Aid organizers don't know yet.
Part of that is due to the many schedules that need to be accommodated.
"A lot of it depends on where are board artists are in scheduling their tours: Willie, Neil, John and Dave. We always want them there at the show and they always want to be here. So that's a big consideration."
There is also a lot of coordination to be done with farmers.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin farmers will be on hand selling apples, pears, cheese and more. Will Allen from Growing Power -- and others -- will have a presence, too.
Fahy says that Farm Aid tried to collaborate with some familiar Miller Park brands, too.
"We worked with some of the existing vendors in the building to determine where their ingredients are coming from and if they could meet Farm Aid's standards for home grown concessions. And they did.
"Klement's entire line didn't meet it but much of it did," she noted. "So it was interesting process for them and they went into their supply chain to look at where it was coming from. So they're thrilled."
There will also be an organic Palermo's pizza for sale at the concert.
"It opens up new doors for (these vendors) to start to market their products in a different way," said Fahy. "And now (Palermo's is) talking with Klements and saying, 'we really like your sausage, maybe we can do something together'."
When I stopped at Miller Park this morning to see how the set-up was going, sound men, lighting riggers and other stage crew and set-up folks were just arriving for 8 o'clock call. Folding chairs were going up on the field and the Farm Aid staff was in the midst of a four-and-a-half-hour press event that began at 4:30 a.m.
So, when you get to the show tomorrow, take a look around and spare a moment's thought for all the hard work -- many of them volunteers and in-kind donators -- that went into to making Farm Aid 25 come alive in Milwaukee.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.