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Video | Newport Folk Festival 2015 Highlights

Just as we turn the corner into the coldest part of the year, Newport Folk Festival drops this heart warmer on us to recap the 2015 season and push the anticipation button on 2016. As Jay Sweet and crew spend the winter plotting and planning next year’s the best-weekend-of-the-year, we’ll have this video by SoPa Productions to come back to when Jack Frost starts nipping at our toes. Just to make sure we all get what we want for the holidays, tickets for Newport Folk go on sale next Wednesday, December 2nd at 10 AM! Stay tuned to the NFF…

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Newport Folk Festival 2015 | A Love Letter of Sorts

'65 Revisited @ Newport Folk Festival 2015
Photos by Boston Concert Photography

It’s hard to believe that it has been a month since the Music Savage gang converged on Newport Folk 2015 for what is simply the best festival in the country. We look forward to those three glorious days for 362 days, and when that last note fades out across the harbor on Sunday evening we begin to make plans for the following year.

You see Newport Folk Fest isn’t just about the music, of course THAT is the main reason we all make our way to the island every year, but it is so much more than planning your schedule to catch every band on your must see list. It is a time to reconnect with friends, a place to let your worries drift away for the weekend, a feeling that everything can be made right with a single strum of a well-worn guitar. So, it’s that experience that keeps us coming back. We already know the music will be great, so we only need to focus our attention on finding hotels and collecting enough spending money to buy merch from our favorite artists.

Each new year we say to each other “There’s just no way that Newport can somehow manage to top (insert previous year here),” however we are always proven wrong. Festival producer Jay Sweet always seems to have another card up his sleeve just when you think his best hand has been laid out on the table. Think about how much goes into pulling a festival of this magnitude off year after year and you begin to understand why these three days hold such a special place in all of our hearts. Sweet and his spectacular team have to coordinate everything from artist schedules, to vendors, to stage set-up and break-down, and still find time to make everyone involved feel welcome and appreciated. As a member of the press, having the opportunity to see this all happen behind the scenes is extraordinary.

The tremendous effort put in this year paid off big time. I spoke to so many different artists, as well as various crew members and security, about their experience being at the Fort and one thing came across time and time again…


Every single person involved with the festival talked of how grateful they were to be a part of the experience. Whether said person was playing the stage, guarding the stage, or gathered in front of the stage with hundreds or thousands of their closest friends, they were all so happy to be involved in their own unique way. This is why we love the Newport weekend as much as we do. The camaraderie spread throughout the grounds, both backstage and front, makes Fort Adams seems less like a impenetrable United States Army post built for war and more like a welcoming parapet (that’s for you Decemberists gang) built for a jamboree.

Let’s talk about that jamboree for a moment shall we?

From Friday’s haunting opening chords of Rhode Island’s own Haunt the House, to the closing number from the entire Folk house lineup in ’65 Revisited on Sunday night, the weekend was one highlight reel after another and everyone that took the stage brought their A-game with them for their all too brief moment in the sun.

Opening day pulled in the breezy, twang from Bahamas, a superstar making performance from Leon Bridges, and My Morning Jacket building a wall of sound with Roger Waters. Saturday saw a Spirited Family make the crowd soar, an outlaw cowgirl from Nashville make the crowd swoon, and New England’s favorite son finally finish his set having been interrupted decades earlier by a landing on the moon. On Sunday we were treated to a beautiful set/marriage proposal from everyone’s new favorite Brooklyn troubadour, a spectacular dance party from the soon to be Stephen Colbert bandleader, a foot stomping Nightsweaty hoedown, and a grave-shaking performance from a larger than life Texan.

At the time of this post there are only 332 days, 8 hours, and 30 minutes to go until Newport Folk Festival 2016. Not that we here at Music Savage are counting or anything.

Check out a few of the amazing shots our NFF shutterbug Steve Benoit took of all the fun below and make sure you get yourself to the fort next year.

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Saturday at Newport Folk Festival in Photos

Jim James [S]aturday at the Folk Fest brought back the sunshine and another full day of incredible music. The day started early with the welcoming sounds from Mariachi Flor de Toloache. We then jumped into catching sets from RayLand Baxter, Jim James, Father John Misty, Sarah Jarosz, Shovels & Rope, The Low Anthem and the high energy of Trombone Shorty. The evening was capped off by Jay Sweet giving a warm welcoming return to The Avett Brothers. Check out day number two in photos from our photographer, Jamie Reiley, and let us know which show you most enjoyed.

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Exclusive | Spirit Family Reunion to play Newport Folk Fest 2013

[S]pirit Family Reunion delighted fans at the Fort last year with one of the best sets of the festival. They might have even stolen the show. I couldn’t be happier to announce the fact that they’ll be returning to the grounds of Fort Adams once again this year. Spirit Family Reunion is a living, breathing, stomping embodiment of folk music. Their music is dripping with authenticity. Anyone who’s ever witnessed they’re live show will attest that they play each note with every fiber of their being. Their passion travels from their heart straight through to their instruments and you can’t…

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Wishlist | Newport Folk Fest 2013 – Part One

[A]s we near the end of winter we’ll all be thinking about long hot summer days, and of course, Newport Folk Festival. It’s become the must go event of the summer for many of the music lovers in the northeast, selling out the last few years, and this year quickly selling out on early bird tickets and three day passes.  There are still tickets available, but they are being gobbled up pretty quickly, and will soon cease to exist. All of this has been done by the NFF team without any formal spending in marketing, and remarkably without actually posting a lineup.

That lack of a lineup leaves a lot of us putting our faith in those that create the festival, and well, we’d love to put our input in … because well, we’ve got this outlet and we’re always eager to spread the gospel of the bands we love. So we were thinking, of the bands we all love who would we like to see most at Newport this summer?

If you haven’t already gotten tickets, I’d suggest you do so now, before they sell out. >> Buy Tickets < <

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Mixtape | Newport Folk Fest 2012

  photo from @bosconcertphoto [I]t is with great pleasure that I’m finally getting this out to you. This year’s Newport Folk Festival feels as though it was designed for me. With tons of artists that have graced this website I couldn’t be more excited for this years festival. So without further ado here’s my mixtape for this year’s fest! Sara Watkins – Long Hot Summer Days Deer Tick – Miss K. Spirit Family Reunion – When My Name Is Spoken Alabama Shakes – Hold On Robert Ellis – What’s In It For Me Jonah Tolchin – Criminal Man Joe Fletcher…

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Newport Folk Fest 2012 Lineup

Last night I headed into Cambridge for the Newport Folk Festival lineup announcement and with huge anticipation building up, each artist was called out based on a rebus puzzle (example). If you were watching on the livestream, you may have seen me turn over Sharon Van Etten’s card. It was a fun way for the audience to participate as they rattled off fantastic name after name after name. It really has to be noted that the team that puts together the lineup does a damn fantastic job in doing so, major credit to Jay Sweet for pulling all the strings…

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Mixtape | Newport Folk Fest ’11 Mixtape

Newport Folk Festival is a mere 9 days away, so it might be a good time to get yourself well acquainted with the fantastic acts that will be performing at the festival.  These are my favorites from some of the artists that will be playing this year.  Hope you enjoy it. Tracklist: The Decemberists – Don’t Carry it All David Wax Museum – Born With A Broken Heart Freelance Whales – Generator ^ Second Floor The Cave Singers – Swim Club The Head and the Heart – Down in The Valley Elvis Costello – Complicated Shadows Pokey LaFarge – La…

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Newport Folk Backstage Benefit

Great news from our favorite Folk Festival, they are putting together a Backstage Benefit party backstage at Fort Adams State Park in Newport. The thought of hanging backstage for a bbq and jam session with NFF artists is a big deal and I’m super excited about this. So Check out the details below, and head over to and buy your tickets. Hey Folk Fans! Here’s your chance to become founding members of Newport Festivals Foundation! An annual membership includes an invitation to the First Annual Newport Folk Friends & Family Backstage Benefit on Saturday, July 30th from 7:30 –…

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