It seems like it was just yesterday that Bob Dylan riled up a lot of die hard acoustic fans by switching to an electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival. In reality, this memorable event took place 44 years ago in 1965, six years after the very first Festival in 1959.
Pete Seeger and His Banjo
A lot has changed since then but as the Festival celebrates its 50th year this summer, much remains the same. Renowned folk artist Pete Seeger, one of the original founding members of the Festival, will take the stage once again. (Seeger recently hit another milestone himself: his 90th birthday!) Joining him will be fellow folk classics like Judy Collins, Joan Baez, and Arlo Guthrie.
This year the full lineup says “In with the old, but in with the new too.” Folk fans of all ages are sure to find something they’ll love with the addition of popular current artists to the classic event. Neko Case will be there, along with Ben Kweller, The Decemberists, and Iron & Wine. You can see the full lineup at folkfestival50.com.
The Newport Folk Festival has a rich history filled with hugely famous names. It helped get Bob Dylan off the ground; his 1963 Newport appearance is widely regarded as his first major national performance. Dylan returned the next year with singer/songwriter Joan Baez, who had performed back at the very first Festival in 1959. So many huge names have performed in Newport over the years, the list would make any summer concert event tremble. Try Johnny Cash, Howlin’ Wolf, Emmylou Harris… if you’re looking for classics, this New England staple has got your number.
Ben Kweller and His Guitar
This year it all takes place July 31st through August 2nd at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island. Tickets go on sale TODAY at 10 AM! You can go just one day or multiple days. Don’t miss your chance; more information about purchasing tickets is available here. There will be arts and craft vendors selling their products at the Festival, plenty of open air space to enjoy and surely some good food and drink.
We hope to see you there for a weekend of great music and memories to last a lifetime. Fifty years from now when the 100th anniversary rolls around, you’ll want to be able to say you were there.