Newport Folk Festival

John Bender / RIPR

The 56th Newport Folk Festival is in full swing this weekend. Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender reports from Fort Adams State Park.

A marching band played as fans waited to enter the Newport Folk Festival. The event sold out well in advance, so thousands turned out before the gates even opened,  eager secure a prime spot on the lawn at Fort Adams State Park.

Rhode Island-based band “Haunt The House” opened the festival with a heart-felt performance before a rapt audience, including family members, and local fans.

Live Audio From The 2015 Newport Folk Festival

Jul 24, 2015

Can't make it to the Newport Folk Festival? Listen to the stream right here.

Broadcast schedule below...


(all times eastern)

11 a.m.: Haunt The House

12:25 p.m.: Bahamas

2:30 p.m.:The Lone Bellow

3:15 p.m.: Calexico

4 p.m.: The Tallest Man On Earth

5:05 p.m.: Heartless Bastards

5:50 p.m.: Watkins Family Hour



50 years ago, Saturday, Bob Dylan made history by playing an electric guitar with a blues band at the Newport Folk Festival. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of that night Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender looks back at the iconic moment in music history.

Wikimedia Commons

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.

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.’

Newport Folk Festival Tickets Go On Sale Thursday

Jan 8, 2015
Weekly Dig / Wikimedia Commons

Tickets for the Newport Folk Festival go on sale at 10 o’clock Thursday morning.  The music lineup has yet to be announced.

That’s been the norm for the past several years, but it hasn’t stopped the festival from selling thousands of tickets.   Last year, for the first time in its history, the complete three-day festival completely sold out.  Three-day, two-day, and single passes will all go on sale.  Ten percent of the three-day passes will be available at a special ‘early-bird rate.’

Aaron Read / RIPR

Tickets for the Newport Jazz Festival go on sale today. This will be the 61st year for the annual Newport Jazz Fest.

Though the music doesn’t start until July 31st, the public will be able to purchase tickets for the historic festival 10 o’clock this morning.  Last year, for the sixtieth anniversary, the Jazz fest added a third day to its typical two-day lineup.  It’s holding onto the three day schedule this year. The festival is introducing a new cheaper one-day ticket, allowing visitors to choose whether they want to go on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Newport Folk Festival Celebrates 55 Years

Jul 25, 2014

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.

Deer Tick Held Up En Route To Newport Folk Festival

Jul 24, 2014

The band Deer Tick is heading back home for the Newport Folk Festival, but apparently they got held up en route.

According to the band’s Twitter feed, the musicians were kicked off a U.S. Airways flight for trying to board with a guitar.

To which festival organizers tweeted back, “They messed with the wrong folking band”

The band said they’ve since hitched a ride on the train. Originally based in Providence, Deer Tick has become a staple of the Newport Folk Fest. They’re scheduled to play the festival Saturday.

American Songwriter

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.

file / RIPR

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.