Newport Folk Festival

Newport Folk Festival, Rhode IslandNewport Folk Festival takes place at Fort Adams, Newport, Rhode Island

Newport Folk Festival 2012 dates – 28th to 29th July

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Wilco, Blitzen Trapper, Megafaun

My Morning Jacket, Iron & Wine, Patty Griffin, Guthrie Family Reunion, Dawes, Deer Tick, City And Colour, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Alabama Shakes, Sharon Van Etten, Blind Pilot, First Aid Kit, Brown Bird, Jonny Corndawg, Spirit Family Reunion, Robert Ellis, Frank Fairfield, The Apache Relay, Honeyhoney, Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, Elizabeth Mitchell & You Are My Flower

Jackson Browne, Conor Oberst, The Head & The Heart, Punch Brothers, Tallest Man On Earth, Tune-Yards, Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman, Trampled By Turtles, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Gary Clark Jr., Of Monsters And Men, New Multitudes Feat. Farrar, Johnson, Parker, & James, Sara Watkins, Jonathan Wilson, The Deep Dark Woods, Carl Broemel, Ben Sollee, Spider John Koerner & His Rag Tag Boys, Joel Rafael, Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons, The Kossoy Sisters, Berklee City Music Choir

The History of the Newport Folk Festival

The Newport Folk Festival is an American annual folk-oriented music festival in Newport, Rhode Island, which began in 1959 as a counterpart to the previously established Newport Jazz Festival. The festival features performances by folk, blues, country, bluegrass and folk rock musicians, and since the 1990’s has featured performers from related contemporary genres, such as alternative country, indie folk and folk punk.

The Newport Folk Festival was founded in 1959 by George Wein, founder of the already-well-established Newport Jazz Festival, backed by its original board: Theodore Bikel, Oscar Brand, Pete Seeger and Albert Grossman. Baez and Dylan at Washington, 1963 is generally regarded as his premiere national performance. Dylan and Baez also played together in 1964. Dylan became the artist most notably associated with the festival.

The Festival is renowned for introducing a number of performers who went on to become major stars, most notably Joan Baez (who appeared as an unannounced guest of Bob Gibson in 1959), and Bob Dylan, whose first Newport appearance, as a guest of Joan Baez in 1963, is generally regarded as his premiere national performance. Dylan and Baez also played together in 1964. Dylan became the artist most notably associated with the festival.

The Newport Folk Festival fell on hard times in the later 1960s, even closing its doors for a number of years, beginning in 1971, but was revived in 1985, and has since become one of the major folk music festivals in the United States, alongside the Philadelphia Folk Festival, which began in 1960 and is now the longest continual running music festival in North America, and the Kerrville Folk Festival which began in 1972.

The Newport festival has run without interruption ever since 1985, although in a different form from its 1960s heyday; the event has gone from not-for-profit to for-profit, the crowd has shrunk from 20,000 to 10,000 and evening concerts have been canceled. Furthermore, the festival has enlisted the aid of major sponsors, including Ben & Jerry’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. The 2007 festival featured musicians such as Linda Ronstadt, who was the Friday night headliner, in addition to other well known musicians such as the Allman Brothers Band, Emmylou Harris, Alejandro Escovedo, Cheryl Wheeler, Hazel Dickens and Ralph Stanley. In recent years, the folk festival has expanded to include performances from folk-influenced indie rock artists and acoustic rock bands, such as The Decemberists and The Low Anthem.

The 2008 Newport Folk Festival headliners included Jimmy Buffett, Stephen and Damian Marley, The Black Crowes, Levon Helm and Jakob Dylan

2009 marked the 50th celebration of the Newport Folk Festival, featuring established folk artists like Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and Pete Seeger, along with newer musicians like The Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, The Avett Brothers, and Neko Case. 2010 was headlined by Levon Helm, John Prine, The Avett Brothers, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.

Newport Folk Festival Line Up – 2011
The Decemberists, Gillian Welch, Gogol Bordello, Earl Scruggs, Ramblin Jack Elliott, Tegan and Sara (acoustic), Mavis Staples, The Felice Brothers, Delta Spirit, Freelance Whales, Devil Makes Three, Song Circle w/ Dar Williams, Ellis Paul, John Gorka, Liz Queler, Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three, Typhoon, River City Extension, PS22 Chorus, The Wailin’ Jennys, The Ebony Hillbillies, What Cheer? Brigade, EmmyLou Harris, Elvis Costello (acoustic), Amos Lee, M.Ward, Wanda Jackson, Middle Brother, Justin Townes Earle, Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Civil Wars, Trampled By Turtles, The Cave Singers, The Head & The Heart, Secret Sisters, David Wax Museum, Mountain Man, Brown Bird, The Seeger Clogging All-Stars

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