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Archive for the ‘Newport, RI’ Category

[CANCELLED: July 31-August 2, 2020] Newport Folk Festival

Last year we took the whole family to two days of the Newport Folk Festival.  It was a fun experience for the most part.  Both kids were exhausted and my son decided he’d rather stay in the hotel than go on the second day.  However, this year he said he;d like to go again, so since the 2020 Festival was cancelled, maybe next year all four of us will go again.

I was not surprised that the Festival was cancelled. But it was still a shock when it happened on April 29th.

Here’s the formal message

Dear Folk-

This is the letter I was praying I wouldn’t have to write, feeling we need the healing powers of live music more now than ever. It is with the heaviest of hearts we announce the cancellation of the 2020 Newport Folk Festival. As devastating as it is to write those words, it’s balanced with a renewed sense of, well, HOPE. It’s Rhode Island’s motto for good reason and it’s also the feeling you, our festival family, constantly exudes when we come together in good times and perhaps more importantly, in difficult times as well. This community is truly unlike any other in music, and I believe we can emerge from this hardship stronger and more connected than ever before.

However, while your safety was at the core of the present decision, your support will be at the core of our future viability. Our ability to produce this festival in 2021 – and continue making a lasting difference in the lives of artists, students and music lovers like yourselves – is in your hands. Quite simply, we need your help.

Due to the financial and institutional uncertainties we find ourselves in, we believe the most trusting and direct course of action is to let the ticket holders decide where their ticket dollars should go. We have sent all ticket holders an email mapping out three options: 1) donate all or a portion of your ticket that will go directly towards ensuring our festival for 2021 while continuing our support for artists and educators; 2) apply your refund towards a 2021 Revival Membership – a new and one-time offer we’ve created specifically to ensure our future and provide these members with 3-day tickets to the 2021 festival (remaining memberships will be offered to the general public directly after the request period); and 3) receive a 100% full refund if desired.

For those of you who didn’t have tickets for this year, PLEASE consider making a tax-deductible donation. Help us continue these festivals, support year-round music education initiatives, and provide grants to artists in need.

I want to personally thank our founder George Wein, our staff, our Board of Directors, the City of Newport, and the DEM for their continued efforts. And, offer a personal note of gratitude to Rhode Island Governor, Gina Raimondo, for her leadership and counsel in prioritizing our well being in making the decision to cancel the festival.

Although we won’t be able to gather at the Fort this summer, rest assured we have invited ALL the announced artists to join us next year. In the meantime, we promise we will all commune one way or another on our festival weekend. As always, we have some secret surprises in store as well, so stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks. Until then, stay strong and folk on.

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[ATTENDED: July 27 & 28, 2019] Newport Folk Festival

Back in 1998, I won a radio contest (not through luck, I knew the name of a song and couldn’t believe no one else did!) and scored a ticket to the Newport Folk Festival.  It was in a lull back then and also, I believe there was only one stage (it’s hard to remember).  Now it is at full power, selling out before artists are even announced.

S. and I have talked about going and finally this year I saw when tickets were announced and I bought 4 tickets for us.  I knew that our son wouldn’t want to go, but I decided to make a long vacation out of it–a couple days in Rhode Island and then about a week in Maine.  He couldn’t say no to going to that.

I didn’t get Friday tickets because three days seemed excessive.  Plus, you never know who is going to appear until long after you buy the tickets. and that actually worked out pretty well.   Turned out, there wasn’t anyone I really wanted to see.

So we rolled in for Saturday.  I was told that if you wanted to get the poster you had to get their very early.  We arrived at 12:30 and they were long sold out.  Oh well. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 28, 2019] Hozier @ Newport Folk Festival

Ever since I learned that Hozier’s “Nina Cried Power” featured Mavis Staples who knew Nina Simone, I was more blown away by the song.

From Billboard:

it was important to me to have Mavis involved. She was kind of there at the beginning of the song. Even when the song was in its embryonic state and the idea of it was forming, I wanted to credit the legacy of the artists in that song and the names were kind of popping into my head, [and] I knew it needed Mavis. I just felt incredibly fortunate and honored that she got where the song was coming from and vibed with it and was up for being a part of the song.

I’d already been impressed by “Take Me to Church” and “Jackie & Wilson,” so I knew I’d want to see him live. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 28, 2019] Trey Anastasio @ Newport Folk Festival

I have seen many variations of the Phish band.  I’ve seen Phish a number of times, I’ve seen Mike Gordon solo, I have also seen the Trey Anastasio Band and soon I’ll be seeing Vida Blue.  So here was my opportunity to see Trey solo.  I’d heard that his solo shows were terrific.  And this was terrific.

His show was the one I was most excited for on this day, even if there were a few other bands I wanted to check out.  I was happy to have gotten pretty close to the stage (again, if I ever go back, stand on the other side, with the sun at my back).

Unlike at a Phish show where Trey barely says anything (usually not even hello), Trey is very chatty solo.

This shows feel very intimate (even in an outdoor venue with thousands of people).  I know he has a lot of solo music out so I was pretty thrilled at how much Phish he played. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 27, 2019] Jeff Tweedy @ Newport Folk Festival

I have seen Wilco once and have seen Jeff Tweedy solo once.  He is a lot of fun live–chatty, funny, very loose and playing a great collection of songs.

This set was fifty minutes and he played about a dozen songs.  I was sure I had taken more clips than I did, but I’m going to blame it all on the sun.  Note to self: if I ever go back to Newport, be sure to stand on the other side of the main stage with the sun at your back.

Jeff was funny and engaging.  And, most surprising, he wasn’t wearing his hat! (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 28, 2019] Lucy Dacus @ Newport Folk Festival

I have seen Lucy Dacus twice and she has been really amazing both times.  I was very excited to see that she would be at Newport.  But I was really bummed to see that she would be running into Jeff Tweedy’s set.  I had to decide who I wanted to see more, Lucy or Jeff.  Since I had seen Lucy twice and more recently, I decided to pick Jeff.  (It also seems more likely that Lucy will tour again before he does).  That meant I could only see a few Lucy songs.

S and T came and we all sat under the big tent.

She sounded great (of course) and her band was in great form.

She opened with “Addictions,” a fantastic song.   I knew there wouldn’t be much that I hadn’t heard from her before.  Neverthless, I was delighted that we got to hear “La Vie en rose” which is tremendous live (and which S. liked very much). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 27, 2019] Colin Meloy

Colin Meloy was at Newport Folk Festival to read his new book The Golden Thread: A Song for Pete Seeger.  It was announced shortly before the Festival and S and I were super excited to see him.  He was in the kids tent and did a reading in between two bands that played on the main stage.

He came in and chatted with us and then read the book. (more…)

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