Newport Folk Festival Gets A Makeover

This year’s lineup is an enticing mix of old and new.

Videos by American Songwriter

This year, the Newport Folk Festival is relaunching itself with a new name, George Wein’s Folk Festival 50. The event will take place July 31-Aug. 2 in Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island. The concert will include performances by Joan Baez and Pete Seeger, who played the Festival’s inaugural launch 1959.

“The whole concept of the folk festival is a reunion of the old people to celebrate 50 years of folk music in Newport – and to show how many young people are involved with folk music,” the festival’s 83-year-old founder, George Wein, tells Billboard.

This year’s lineup includes the Decemberists, Langhorne Slim, Ben Kweller, Arlo Guthrie, Fleet Foxes, Neko Case, Billy Bragg, Campbell Brothers, the Avett Brothers, Josh Ritter, Gillian Welch, Judy Collins, Del McCoury, Iron & Wine, Joe Pug, Tao Rodriguez Seeger, Balfa Toujours, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, Tim Eriksen & Shape Note Singers, and Low Anthem.

Listen to performances and interviews from last year’s fest, featuring Gillian Welch, She & Him, M. Ward, Jim James, and more, at

In related news, folk music icon Richie Havens, the first artist to perform at 1969’s Woodstock festival, will play a concert on August 14 on the original grounds at Bethel Woods Center For the Arts in Bethel, New York.


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