Newport Folk Festival 2016 Preview

Every year, for one weekend in late July, we get to go to one of the most perfect festivals in the US — Newport Folk Festival. Perhaps it’s the years and years of history, a history that can truly be felt throughout the festivities, that makes it so amazing. Perhaps it’s the extraordinary scenery, perched with a view of the ocean in a state park. Perhaps it’s the consistently incredible line up. Or perhaps it’s the fact that it’s never that crowded and ends at 7pm, just in time for a lobster roll and the after parties. Whatever it is, each year Newport is one of the best weekends of our year, and we expect that this year will be exactly the same.


The line up at Newport Folk is always exceptional. The festival does an incredible job of honoring the history of the festival and the rich diversity in folk music while still pushing forward the boundaries of what modern folk music can be. This year, Flight of the Concords, New Zealand’s fourth most popular folk-parody duo, is a headliner along with punk legend Patti Smith and Grammy winners Alabama Shakes. These acts are peppered with more conventional folk acts, like Bret Dennen and Britan’s The Staves as well indie rock heros like Ryan Adams and Father John Misty. For a certain type of person, the Newport Folk line up is as close to a perfect festival as you can get.



Wild Child – 11:15 @ Quad Stage

Longtime favorites out of Austin promise to be as raucous as ever at their Newport debut.

The Staves – 12:40 @ The Fort Stage

British sisters with harmonies that will make even the coldest hearts melt.

St Paul and the Broken Bones – 1:55pm @ The Fort Stage

The wild and bluesy stylings of this Alabama band will make sure to kick start the energy for your afternoon.

Aoife O’Donovan – 2:25pm @ Harbor Stage

The stunning voice from Ireland’s Aoife o’Donovan brings you back to the true origin of folk.

Violent Femmes – 3:10pm @ The Fort Stage

The iconic 90s acoustic alt-rockers have reunited after years, and it’s sure to be worth the wait.

case/lang/viers – 4:10pm @ The Quad Stage

The super group whose voices and aesthetics mesh so perfectly are a must see.

Ray Lamontage – 4:40pm @ The Fort Stage

Touring with members of My Morning Jacket means that the dulcet sounds of Lamontage’s sweet songs will pack an even bigger punch

Flight of the Concords – 6:15pm @ The Fort Stage

The fourth most popular folk-parody trio is performing the entirety of their landmark self titled album – which isn’t just funny but actually really great music as well. Expect a mix of stand up and music that will keep you smiling for weeks after.


Rayland Baxter – 11:15am @ The Fort Stage

There are very few artists who are able to make such perfectly crafted country influenced music the way Rayland Baxter can – you’re sure to leave his set with a new favorite songwriter.

Margo Price – 1:40pm @ The Quad Stage

Another rising star in the alt-country world, Margo Price has the hard edge of the troubadours of old with a voice that has a touch of sweetness.

Nathaniel Rateleff and the Night Sweats 1:45pm @ The Fort Stage

The Denver band broke out huge with “SOB” last year and puts on one hell of a show. True to the name, it’s going to be a sweaty, rocking mess.

Lady Lamb – 2:30 @ The Harbor Stage

Lady Lamb and her banjo infused songs are a perfect fir for a nice Newport afternoon.

Ryan Adams and the Infamous String Dusters – 3:10pm @ The Fort Stage

Ryan Adams headlined Newport two years ago and put on one of the best shows we’ve ever seen – with an incredible backing band with him this year, we’re hoping for a repeat of that magic.

Graham Nash – 4:20pm @ The Quad Stage

The legend himself will grace the stage and bring a bit of that old folk spirit to the festival.

Norah Jones – 4:40pm @ The Fort Stage

Norah Jone’s may be best known for her jazz infused pop, but make no mistake- she’s just as incredible as an alt-roots singer. She’s also collaborated with plenty of the artists gracing the festival this year so we can hope for some of the onstage surprises that Newport Folk is known for.

Father John Misty – 5:10 @ The Quad Stage

The indie-rock star is worth seeing simply for his exceptional stage banter. Oh, and the songs are pretty amazing too.

Patti Smith – 6:55pm @ The Fort Stage

Punk legend and poet Patti Smith is the perfect example of the new type of Newport headliner – one who straddles the lines of genres but embodies the spirit of the festival and the art celebrated there. It’s sure to be moving and full of nostalgia.


River Whyless – 11:10am @ The Quad Stage

This Asheville band is on the forefront of interesting folk rock.

The Oh Hellos – 12:40pm @ The Fort Stage

With the feel of a giant family band and all the raucousness that entails, every Oh Hellos show is a celebration.

Julien Baker – 1:30 @ The Quad Stage

One of the breakout artists of 2015, Julien Baker’s intensely emotional album Sprained Ankle was an absolute triumph.

Glen Hansard – 1:45 @ The Fort Stage

The once and future Once star brings his lovely songs and even lovelier Irish brough to the stage.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band – 2:45 @ The Quad Stage

The New Orleans band would seemingly be more apt for the Jazz Fest than the Folk Fest, but they bring one of the most expertly distilled version of a uniquely American sound. And damn, do they put on a show.

Middle Brother – 3:10pm @ The Fort Stage

A part of the Deer Tick family that’s taken over Newport in the last few years, Middle Brother’s set is like a reunion of people who come to the festival every year.

Elvis Costello – 4:40pm @ The Fort Stage

Another former punk legend who’s softened a bit in his later years but still knows how to pack a punch.

Brian Fallon – 5:05pm @ The Harbor Stage

Brian Fallon’s solo work holds up with the best from his band The Gaslight Anthem – if we’re lucky we’ll get highlights from both.

Alabama Shakes – 6:15pm @ The Fort Stage

The Grammy winners know how to put on one of the most rocking shows in the industry. It’s the perfect way to close a perfect weekend.


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