Nestled within a fortress alongside Newport harbor will be the 51st edition of George Wein’s Folk Festival. July 30th through August 1st, Newport, RI will be flooded with acoustic melodies, flat-picking guitars, and folk legends and up-and-comers as they gather to celebrate the history of a festival that began in 1959 in the very same town.
Part of what makes this festival so unique is the emphasis Newport’s summer scenery has to offer. A stone fortress that was built by Irish immigrants beginning in 1824 and was used by the U.S Naval Academy during the Civil War encloses Fort Adams State Park. But that’s not the only history the park has to boast, it is also home to the Folk Festival. In a statement Yim Yames, one of this year’s performers said, “There is something so perfect about being in Newport near the water and that old stone fort – all gathered in to sing with family and friends – that keeps me wanting to come back year after year,” he continued “It’s like the walls of the fort are arms, and I feel secure when I am near them, protected by the spirits there – past, present, and future. And, I like to hear our voices bouncing off those old stone walls as my eye drifts to the sailboats on the seashore and the people just smiling and taking it all in.”
All in attendance will have their senses overloaded. The sights at the festival will not only be breathtaking, but dumbfounding and the sounds, not only beautiful, but encompassing. Beneath the warm summer sun, and a blanket of sea spray in the air, audience members are sure to live through an unforgettable weekend.
This year’s line-up is so diverse, intriguing, and impressive it’s hard to imagine spending this weekend anywhere else. Performers such as Andrew Bird, Brandi Carlile, Calexico, O’Death, Blitzen Trapper, The Felice Brothers, The Avett Brothers, Tao Seeger Band, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Horsefeathers, and much more are only a few to get excited about.
For full line-up, and new artists added, go to www.newportfolkfest.net, tickets went onsale March 26 and are still available.