For its 50th anniversary, the Newport Folk Festival has recruited two artists who took the stage at the inaugural 1959 event: Joan Baez and Pete Seege. Newer acts like Fleet Foxes, Iron & Wine, the Decemberists, Neko Case and Breaking artists the Low Anthem will also take part in "George Wein's Folk Festival 50," scheduled for July 31st-August 2nd at Newport's Fort Adams State Park. Tickets go on sale May 6th.
"The whole concept of the folk festival is a reunion of the old people to celebrate 50 years of folk music in Newport — and to show how many young people are involved with folk music," George Wein, who founded both the Folk Festival and the annual Newport Jazz Festival, told the AP. Wein indicated the recession threatened this year's celebrations — their long-running sponsor JVC was forced pull its support — but he kept the concerts alive by bankrolling the shows himself. "This is my life. To me, it's not business anymore I'm not doing this to make money," Wein said. "I have to put on my festival. It has to be a quality event. It has to take care of the crowd."
This year's Jazz Festival, taking place the following weekend, will feature Tony Bennett, Etta James, the Dave Brubeck Quartet and many more. Full lineup is right here:
George Wein's Folk Festival 50
The Avett Brothers
Iron & Wine
Tao Rodriguez Seeger
Elvis Perkins in Dearland
Tim Eriksen & Shape Note Singers