After taking last year off like every other major event in the country, Newport Folk Festival is ready to return in 2021. The long-running cultural cornerstone is set to take place over two consecutive three-day weekends, scheduled for July 23rd-25th and July 26th-28th, each of which will feature a unique lineup.
Tickets for Newport Folk historically sell out well before a single artist is even announced, and even split across two separate festivals, that’s likely to happen again. Each three-day event will be held at a 50% capacity reduction — essentially meaning the same number of tickets will be sold overall, only Fort Adams State Park will be half as full during the shows.
Three-day passes will be available for each separate event, though the usual children’s tickets won’t be available. Kids under two will be admitted free, while a three-day pass is set at $230 plus fees. Tickets will be available beginning Tuesday, May 18th at 11:00 a.m. ET via Eventbrite, and you can always check here once they’re inevitably sold out.
What’s more, the Fort layout itself has been reconfigured for this unprecedented post-pandemic version of the festival. Instead of the usual three stages, there will be two main stages will occasional scheduling overlaps. There will also be a number of smaller stages featuring intimate pop-up performances, the types of Newport shows typically relegated to the Museum and Kids Stages. As always, the festival promises “surprise guests and never before seen collaborations.”
A lineup has yet to be revealed, but the Folk Family can likely expect an artist-by-artist rollout like the fest has done in years past. The canceled 2020 NFF was to feature The National, Mandy Moore (with Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith and producer Mike Viola), Brittany Howard, Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien (EOB), Randy Newman, Muzz (Paul Banks, Josh Kaufman, and Matt Barric), Andrew Bird, Big Thief, Waxahatchee, Phoebe Bridgers, Sylvan Esso, Deer Tick, Delta Spirit, Grace Potter, Joseph, and Son Volt playing Trace.
As for COVID precautions, Newport’s press release notes that protocols are still being worked out given the ever evolving nature of the pandemic. Still, they say attendees can “most likely” expect “proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, temperature checks, social distancing and mask-wearing.”
Last year, the Newport Festivals Foundation launched the Newport Festivals Musician Relief Fund to aid struggling folk and jazz musicians struggling during the pandemic. They also held the Folk On Revival Weekend, featuring three distinct livestream broadcasts, last summer in lieu of the in person event.