This weekend hosted the 2012 Newport Folk Festival inside Forth Adams State Park in Newport, RI. Founded in 1959 by George Wein to compliment the Newport Jazz Festival started five years earlier, Newport Folk has transformed itself over the past years into an alternative to larger mass-audience music festivals in the United States. Ticket sales remain restrained and those attending Newport Folk certainly recognized the spaciousness of the surroundings as well as the closeness allotted to audience members.
2012 brought the addition of a fourth stage to Newport Folk as well as another strong line-up of well known and emerging acts from around the globe who are changing the ideas and definitions of what folk music is. Conor Oberst, Jackson Browne, Wilco, and My Morning Jacket are only a handful of the acts who performed this weekend at the Newport Folk Festival.
Read and see more from the 2012 Newport Folk Festival on the following page.
Since its beginnings, the Newport Folk Festival has been a gathering of the very best musicians and artists performing traditional American music. But like all good things, the sounds and faces change with time – offering new explorations in sound while re-imagining what contemporary folk music should be. Acts from across the globe are clearly helping to support the American folk sound including the Söderberg sisters of First Aid Kit from Sweden and Iceland’s six piece Of Monsters and Men – both performing on the Harbor and Quad stages to strong ovations from the audience. We walked away from both sets with strong faith in the future of folk music and the fans – all of whom seemed to know every word to every song throughout both sets.
Newport mainstays, Deer Tick, clearly pulled the crowd and continued to entertain through a series of after-hours events down port. Those lucky enough to attend Saturday evening’s private show in Newport saw a rare short set from Middle Brother – a supergroup composed of members of The Delta Spirit, Dawes, and of course Deer Tick.
The main Fort Stage became the jump off for past NFF artists who have risen to new heights over the last 12 months. Two in particular, Dawes and The Head and the Heart, have seen great success in 2012 and the Fort Stage crowd welcomed them back with open arms. Under an overcast skies on Saturday and Sunday, the two bands warmed the audience for Patty Griffin, My Morning Jacket, and Conor Oberst and Jackson Browne respectively.
Those in attendance for Jackson Browne’s closing set were treated to a Tom Morello (who performed earlier in the day on Newport’s Harbor stage) joining the band for a rendition of Warren Zevon’s “Lawyers, Guns and Money.” Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith jumped in for a moment as well.
Newport Folk Festival continues to impress and remain unique in it’s musical offering, as programmed by producer Jay Sweet. The mix of location, music, atmosphere, and people make it one of the more enjoyable and laid-back festival experiences available in the United States today. We’ll be back next year and hope to see you there as well.
See our gallery for more looks from the 2012 Newport Folk Festival.