In April, to the delight of fans, the Newport Festival Foundation announced that live music would be taking place at Fort Adams State Park. Due to COVID-19 capacity restrictions, two unique three day events were announced. July 23rd through July 25th and July 26th through July 28th would be filled with surprise performances, storytelling, and workshops. Capacity would be capped at 5000 attendees, and artists would be given the opportunity to announce the date of their performance or keep it secret. Tickets to both events sold out within an hour without a single performer being announced.
The Newport Folk Festival is often considered one of the first modern music festivals in America. George Wein along with Pete Seeger founded the festival in 1959 as a counterpart to the Newport Jazz Festival. Throughout the years the festival has witnessed historic performances including, the introduction to bluesman Mississippi John Hurt, the debut festival appearance of James Taylor, the introduction to Kris Kristofferson, My Morning Jacket backing up Roger Waters, and of course, the first electric performance of Bob Dylan. It is only fitting that the festival will be the first national festival to take place since the beginning of the pandemic.
As of the week prior to the festival Jason Isbell, Billy Strings, Yola, Allison Russell, Beck, Lucy Dacus, Hiss Golden Messenger, Waxahatchee, Natalie Hemby, Marcus King Band, Lake Street Dive, Grace Potter, Black Joe Lewis, Sharon Van Etten, Shakey Graves, Margo Price, Langhorne Slim, and Randy Newman have announced they will be performing.
Although the festival has been sold out for months, stay tuned to Americana Highways Facebook/Instagram sites for daily updates. Find more on the Newport Folk Festival here: https://newportfolk.org