Coronavirus

Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals Canceled for 2020

Newport Folk Festival
Douglas Mason/WireImage

The main stage and crowd at the 60th annual Newport Folk Festival 2019 at Fort Adams State Park on July 28, 2019 in Newport, RI.

Organizers for the Newport Folk and Jazz festivals and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo have announced that the annual festivals will not occur in 2020 due to the coronavirus.

"As devastating as it is to write these words, it’s balanced with a renewed sense of, well, HOPE,” said the festival's executive producer Jay Sweet. "It’s Rhode Island’s motto for good reason, and it’s also the feeling our festival family, constantly exudes when we come together in good times and perhaps more importantly, in difficult times as well. This community is truly unlike any other in music, and I believe we can emerge from this adversity stronger and more connected than ever before."

This year's Newport Folk Festival was set to take place July 31 to Aug. 2 on the grounds at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island. The festival, which was established in 1959, was going to feature performances from Randy Newman, Nathaniel Rateliff, Yola, Sharon Van Etten, The National and Mandy Moore, among others.

The following weekend, fans were expected to gather from Aug. 7-9 for the Newport Jazz Festival which would have featured performances from Norah Jones, Diana Krall and more.

“Although we won’t be able to gather at the Fort this summer, rest assured we have invited ALL the announced artists to join us next year,” Sweet added. “In the meantime, we promise we will all commune one way or another on our festival weekend. As always, we have some secret surprises in store as well, so stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks. Until then, be present, be kind, be open, be together and stay strong.”

All ticket holders have the option of a 100% full refund if desired. Other options include: an opportunity to donate all or a portion of their ticket to go directly towards ensuring the festivals for 2021 while continuing the foundation’s support for artists and educators; or applying their refund towards a 2021 Revival Membership - a new and one-time offer the festivals created specifically to ensure the future of the festivals and provides these members with 3-day tickets to the 2021 festival (remaining memberships will be offered to the general public directly after the refund period).

In a statement, the festivals said they are aware of the impact the cancellation of the events will have on the music community and have already established the Newport Festivals Musician Relief Fund last month to help mitigate financial hardship for musicians with over six figures in donations to date.

The festival is also asking those who don’t have tickets to consider making a tax-deductible donation in order to help the events return in future years.

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