The legendary Newport Folk Festival is the new old place to discover the music that is righteous and relevant at this very moment in time, however loosely used the term “folk” has become when perusing the fest’s lineups of recent years. The place where Dylan first went electric, and where Johnny Cash first introduced the world to Kris Kristofferson has been working extra hard over the last few seasons to rekindle its history as a place where landmark shifts in music occur, and legendary careers are launched.
And if you’ve charged yourself with such pursuits, it would only seem fitting that you would book country music’s current golden boy Sturgill Simpson, and this generation’s King of Americana Jason Isbell. Only a select few music listeners can trek to the Northeast and secure a ticket for the famed event, but luckily NPR and the miracle of the internet can allow you to pull up a lawn chair right in front of the stage overlooking the coastline and listen along in the comfort of your own home.
The Newport Folk Festival was founded in 1959 by George Wein with the help of Pete Seeger, Theodore Bikel, Oscar Brand, and Albert Grossman. Since its beginning, it has remained a non profit.