Newport Folk Fest Announces 50th Anniversary Celebration Of Dylan Going Electric

May 26, 2015

The Newport Folk Festival has announced plans to celebrate this year’s 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan going electric.  But details of the celebration remain a mystery.

The Newport Folk Festival at Fort Adams
Credit Wikimedia Commons

In true Folk festival fashion, producers are keeping silent on the headlining act for what they’ve dubbed “65 revisited,” an affectionate nod to the Bob Dylan album ‘Highway 61 Revisited.’

It was 1965 when Dylan pulled out an electric guitar onstage for the first time in his career at the Newport Folk Festival, at a time when folk music predominately meant acoustic.  Allegedly scandalized audience members booed the performance, but it has since become an iconic moment in music history.

Newport Folk Festival Producer Jay Sweet said, the electric set questioned the very nature of folk music; something he said that still resonates today.

“It really blew the confines of what folk music was at the time,” said Sweet. “It was ‘we’re going to redefine what this term means right here, right now.’  And I think that’s something we’ve taken to heart.”

Sweet said Dylan himself is not expected to turn up. This year’s headliners include the Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens, and Pink Floyd  frontman Roger Waters. Sweet said as in recent years, the festival is likely to sell out. Three-day passes are gone and just 50 single day tickets remain as of Tuesday afternoon.

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