Though 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.