HEY YOU GUY-Y-Y-Y-YS!!!
Did I get your attention?
Yes, I did just open this post with the opening phrase of everyone’s favorite educational television show, The Electric Company, for no other reason than that sums up how we are feeling that our favorite time of the year is only one sleep away. We have been eagerly anticipating the music extravaganza about to unfold this weekend and have counted the days for eight thousand six hundred and eighty eight hours to the moment we are all back at the folk fort.
If you have any doubt on the truth of the statement above, or believe there is an element of hyperbole mixed in the excitement, you don’t know us very well.
Speaking of excitement the line-up for 2017 is phenomenal. We get red-hot up and coming bands like Seratones and Mt. Joy making their festival debuts. We have musicians joining forces to form new super-groups like Offa Rex, Alone & Together, and Steelism with Ruby Amanfu and Nicole Atkins. We get returning favorites like Shovels & Rope, Nikki Lane, Jim James, and Angel Olsen. We have the “For Pete’s Sake” shows in the museum hosted by J.P Harris and Chris Funk featuring Joe Purdy, Christopher Paul Stelling, Reggie Harris, and so many other talented musicians. We are lucky enough to have returning festival legends Fleet Foxes, Wilco, and John Prine to end each night in way that will make all in attendance say “You remember when (insert fest legend here) closed out (insert night here) wasn’t that amazing?” Every band and every musician is going to light up their perspective stage as if The Queen of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, was backstage whispering “Dracarys” to everyone that steps out from behind the curtain. Game of Thrones reference on a Newport post for the nerd win!
We all make our own schedule for the bands and musicians that we have been thinking about since the moment the line-up was rolled out. Each of us hoping that the schedule fits into that perfect map of music we have conjured up, but as we know once the time-slots are announced we inevitably run into the overlap of favorite bands playing at the same time. This should not come as a surprise yet it always does. The one thing to remember is that no matter who you have to miss the performance you choose will be extraordinary, because every artist will be at the top of his or her game for that glorious hour. We will be moved to tears, we will be moved to dance, and all will be right with the world for a while.
There are also a TON of Newport after parties to keep the revelry going long into the night. When the last note plays over the Fort Stage crowd you can head back to town and hit up any number of amazing shows that are bound to have one special guest after the other. It all begins tonight July 27th with “All Newport’s Eve” @ Newport Blues Cafe featuring Langhorne Slim with Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires. This one is sold out but if there’s a will there’s a way. There is “The Spirit of ’67 ” show @ Bel Merre on Friday, SXNE/Narragansett & PVDlive Present “OldJack’s 5th Annual Newport Nights” @ Jimmy’s Saloon taking place Friday and Saturday, and festival favorites Deer Tick throwing their well loved “Deer Tick & Friends” parties @ Newport Blues Cafe featuring a whose who of NFF superstars. I mean who needs sleep, am I right?
All of these moments we are about to witness will be made a million times more special because of the people in the crowd that have become the friends you look forward to seeing the same time every year. Whenever I walk through those gates I immediately wonder who I will run into first, and it takes about a minute to run into someone special. You see, these moments at Newport aren’t simply defined by the time we spend at any of the stages where our favorite musicians are creating festival memories to be remembered for years to come, it is also defined by the time we spend in the company of friends old and new.
To help you get through the next 24 hours before the Festival begins you can listen to the 2017 Newport Folk Festival Playlist our very own Kyle Mitchell put together to get you ready, as well as the special playlist Deer Tick put together to celebrate their shows. Enjoy!
Have fun this weekend my friends. If you see me come say howdy. I’ll be the guy who looks like he is on cloud nine.