With most summer music festivals diversifying their lineups , (I mean, where else will you find Mumford & Sons and Nine Inch Nails on the same bill other than at a summer musicfest), one would think that the Newport Folk Festival is behind the times. Yes, it’s true that if you’re looking forward to Electric Zoo then you might not find yourself racing to Rhode Island this weekend – but if you’re a fan of the genre, want to get in touch with the roots of America’s music or like the idea of discovering a new sound you’ll want to get your hands on tickets today.
I attended only one day of last year’s festival (tickets go very quickly) and was able to catch full sets of Apache Relay, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Alabama Shakes, First Aid Kit, Iron & Wine and My Morning Jacket. Unlike your typical summer festival, there was no need to sprint or keep to an active schedule. The stages were set just a short distance apart with each one having a fairytale-esque setting (i.e. the “Fort Stage” was designed and named after the fort walls from the War of 1812). Add the secluded, waterfront Beer Pier, a family tent with impromptu performances from various artists and an array of local vendors and you’ll quickly realize this is unlike any music festival out there.
This year’s festival is shaping up to be the best yet, pulling out more stops and surprises than ever before. Newport Folk Festival has expanded from two days to three and includes acts like Feist, The Avett Brothers and Beck (yes, Beck) headlining each day. Other performers include NFF-veterans Colin Meloy and Jim James, summer festival staple The Lumineers, bluegrass revivalists Old Crow Medicine Show and even the highly anticipated east-coast debut of Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Dawn McCarthy.
The crazy part is that Friday tickets are still available. For less than $50, you can see huge names like Feist, Old Crow Medicine Show, and The Mountain Goats alongside some flowering talent like The Milk Carton Kids, The Last Bison and Hey Marseilles.
Can’t make it to Newport Folk Festival? The Avett Brothers, The Milk Carton Kids, Frank Turner, Langhorne Slim and The Lumineers all have vast tours that start in September. You’ll also find Father John Misty on the road in October and Trombone Shorty, Jason Isbell and Hurray for the Riff Raff with tours that kick off after the festival.
Article by Nicolas Palumbo