The Newport Folk Festival kicks off today. The 55-year old festival is more popular than ever.
Tickets for the festival sold out even before the full lineup was announced. A resurgence in the festival’s popularity has been credited to an increasingly diverse collection of artists, and a major social media presence. The festival is now so popular it’s been expanded to three days.
The local music scene lost an important musician this month. David Lamb, one half of the Rhode Island folk duo Brown Bird passed away late last week, after a year-long battle with leukemia. Lamb was only 35.
Newport Jazz and Folk Festival founder George Wein is calling folk legend Pete Seeger the heart and soul of the folk festival. Seeger was on the Newport Folk Festival’s first board, and Wein credits Seeger for re-starting the festival in 1963 after it fizzled out in 1960.