Founders of the Newport Folk Festival, the Rhode Island concert series where Bob Dylan infamously switched to electric instruments in 1965, will celebrate the event’s 50th anniversary this July with a special weekend dubbed Folk Festival 50 — and the genre’s finest, from Pete Seeger to Fleet Foxes, are joining the party!
The annual concert’s lineup spans generations, featuring young folkies such as the Decemberists, Neko Case, the Avett Brothers, Iron & Wine, Elvis Perkins, and Ben Kweller — alongside vets like Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Billy Bragg, and more.
The festival will take place from July 31-Aug. 2 at Fort Adams State Park. Visit folkfest50.com for more information.
George Wein, 83, co-founded the Newport Folk Festival in 1959. In 2007, Wein sold his concert production business and retired to New York City. But the following year the new owners, Festival Network LLC, ran into financial troubles, and the folk fest faced extinction — which is when Wein stepped in to rescue his creation.
“I’ve got a couple of years to save this,” Wein told The Boston Herald. “It’s a major cultural event and I’m doing what I can to preserve it.”
“Sometimes business is dictated by money, sometimes it’s dictated by love,” he added. “This is dictated by love.”
Tickets for Folk Festival 50 go on sale Wednesday, May 6, at 10:00 A.M. at folkfestival50.com.