Newport Folk & Jazz Festivals Returning to Their Roots?

picture-28Though last year’s Newport Folk Festival was quite successful by recent standards, producer Festival Productions still owed Rhode Island money in  January.  Because of this, the state’s Department of Environmental Management voided their contract to produce the festivals at Fort Adams State Park.

Yesterday, original founder George Wein announced plans to produce the shows himself, launching a web site and conducting interviews with the Boston Globe, New York Times (free subscription required)  and Providence Journal:

“I couldn’t let the festivals die,” the 83-year-old impresario said yesterday from his home in New York. “That’s my life, those two festivals.”

Wein said Environmental Management, which operates Fort Adams State Park in Newport, granted his request to negotiate a contract to produce the festivals. His production team has said it will be holding the folk festival July 31-Aug. 2 and the jazz festival Aug. 7-9 at Fort Adams State Park.

With the Folk Festival’s 50th anniversary coming up this year, it’s worth speculating that the show might return to its folk roots – hopefully, the Black Crowes will stay away.

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One thought on “Newport Folk & Jazz Festivals Returning to Their Roots?

  1. That is good news. The Festival has been a love hate thing for me. Loved it when Dylan returned to a crowd so thick that I lost track of my wife when I went to get to get drinks and my reference landmark, the Ben& Jerry’s ice cream cart, moved when I was not looking. Loved it when I got to hear the Waifs on a side stage for the first time, still a fav band. Hated sitting in the blistering sun listening to Dunking Donuts sponsorship plugs while the folks camping half on our little blanket set up a small trailer park of chairs, coolers and umbrellas. And of course there is always the delight of hitting Aidan’s Pub down on the corner of Broadway afterward… totally love it. T

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