As July came to a close, Time Out made a weekend getaway to the scenic Rhode Island coast for the annual Newport Folk Festival—now in its 54th year. This year's lineup didn't disappoint with appearances from emerging bands like the Milk Carton Kids, Shovels & Rope and Lord Huron as well as solid sets from folk veterans such as Old Crow Medicine Show, Andrew Bird and Tift Merritt.
Two of the most thrilling performances of the weekend came from Brooklyn's very own Spirit Family Reunion and the Lone Bellow, who got audiences on their feet to boisterously clap along. Other highlights included impromptu performances from the all-girl band Mariachi Flor de Toloache, who roamed the fort grounds throughout the weekend; a personal ballad from Jason Isbell, who openly sang about his recovery from substance abuse; and a surprise offstage performance from the Lumineers, who allowed fans a rare opportunity to get up close and personal.
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Accompanying the festival's four main stages, partners Sennheiser and Paste Magazine hosted a series of "silent sets" where fans used wireless Sennheiser headphones to listen in on intimate acoustic sessions with festival artists such as Hurray for the Riff Raff and Langhorne Slim. Closing out the fest, antifolk darling Beck delivered a crowd-pleasing set of folk-revamped tunes, which appropriately included a Jimmie Rodgers cover with legendary troubadour Ramblin' Jack Elliott.
Until next year, farewell Newport!
Missed out? NPR has posted full videos of many of the weekend's stellar performances on their site.