Just as most major jazz festivals have expanded to all forms of music, so has the iconic Newport Folk Festival.
This year’s event, scheduled for July 22 to 24 at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, RI, includes very little of the traditional folk music that it was so well known for in its early years. It was at Newport, in 1965, that Bob Dylan stunned the audience by bringing electric instruments on the stage, something that, up until that time, was not allowed. Word is that Pete Seger threatened to pull the plug on the amps and a number of folk purists booed Dylan.
The festival started in 1959 and ran until 1971 (skipping 1961 and 1962) when it stopped for over a decade, returning in 1985. As with all festivals, the range of music allowed has widened continuously over the years and it now has sponsors which would have been unheard of in its younger days.
This year’s lineup is no exception to the trend among festivals, bringing in such veterans as Patti Smith, Elvis Costello and Graham Nash to join more modern artists like Alabama Shakes, Norah Jones, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and the currently hot Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.
This year’s lineups:
Friday, July 22
Flight of the Conchords
case/lang/veirs (Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs)
St. Paul & the Broken Bones
Matthew Logan Vasquez
Saturday, July 23
Ryan Adams with the Infamous Stringdusters featuring Nicki Bluhm
Father John Misty
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
Del & Dawg (Del McCoury & David Grisman)
Dave Simonett & Dave Caroll
The Cactus Blossoms
Sunday, July 24
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Phil Cook Presents “Southland Revue” Featuring The Blind Boys of Alabama and Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
The Oh Hellos
Ian Fitzgerald with Smith & Weeden
Berklee Gospel & Roots Choir
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