Venues may have gone virtual, but SiriusXM wouldn’t have let you miss out on your favorite fest. In celebration of over 60 years of the annual Newport Folk Festival, The Bridge (Ch. 17) and The Village (Ch. 741) played exclusive sets and interviews from over the years over throughout the week of July 26.
The Newport Folk Festival Radio conquered the SiriusXM airwaves with legendary sets from the Newport stage, including performances from the late John Prine, Dawes, Billy Strings and Molly Tuttle, Aoife O’Donovan, Glen Hansard, John Paul White, and Darlingside. The takeover also featured Judy Collins, Milk Carton Kids, and more discussing memorable backstage experiences from past years at the festival, as well as Guest DJ specials with Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls, Steve Earle, and Jay Sweet of Newport (complete with rare historical and contemporary recordings). Fans also had the ability to hear about the future and history of folk being made during exclusive live sessions with Nathaniel Rateliff, Phoebe Bridgers, and Reggie Harris, along with archival sets from the early 1960s with John Lee Hooker, Reverend Gary Davis, Joan Baez, and Lightnin’ Hopkins. Newport Folk Festival Radio was hosted by Jay Sweet, Executive Producer of Newport Folk Festival.
“I am so grateful and thrilled for this partnership between Newport Folk and SiriusXM. Back in April, we made the incredibly emotional and difficult decision to cancel Newport Folk at a time when, with the state of the world, I felt like we needed the Newport Folk spirit of ‘togetherness’ more than ever. Which is why I’m so grateful that SiriusXM has offered us their megaphone to connect with our community and share the music with the ‘folk’ over their airwaves. Although it can’t replace the real thing, I hope that when you’re listening along, you feel that sense of connection and conviction of the fellow music lovers listening; I know I will,” Jay Sweet, Executive Producer of Newport Folk Festival, said.
“To closely work with Newport Folk Festival — now 60 years old — is a great honor, where the history and the future of folk connect. From the legendary moment in 1965 when Bob Dylan plugged in to Dolly Parton’s 2019 splash, you can hear the common thread on Newport Folk Festival Radio — that thread is folk family. And it all started with a phone call in March!” MarySue Twohy, SiriusXM Program Director, noted.
The programming from the fest supported the Newport Festivals Foundation, which in the last year has provided financial relief to over 400 musicians impacted by the pandemic and over 100 grants for public music education programs across the country. To learn more about how you can support this critical work, please visit www.newportfestivals.org.
For even more SiriusXM virtual festival coverage, click here.
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