Newport Folk Festival

Photograph: Michael J. Chen
The Avett Brothers perform at the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island on July 27, 2013.

Most exciting five acts: Nickel Creek, Mavis Staples, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Reignwolf, the Milk Carton Kids

You can feel the history when you enter the stone walls of Fort Adams State Park, home of the intimate, laid-back Newport Folk Festival and its equally cool older sister, the Newport Jazz Festival. If visions of Dylan “going electric” in ’65 don’t immediately start dancing in your head, there’s a sign post on the fort grounds honoring the late greats who have performed here—Johnny Cash, Janis Joplin and Howlin’ Wolf, to name a few. In January, the fest lost one of its greatest champions, folk hero Pete Seeger. Undoubtedly, there will be many can’t-miss Seeger tributes at this year’s Newport, along with indelible performances from the likes of reunited bluegrass darlings Nickel Creek, blues-folk collective Hurray for the Riff Raff and unpredictable rocker Reignwolf.

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