The Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has placed the festival’s homestate of Rhode Island on a stay-at-home order. This year’s festival was originally scheduled to host the likes of Randy Newman, Caamp, Ed O’Brien, Big Thief, Hawktail, Yola, Erin Rae, Joseph, Mandolin Orange, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Tre Burt and Black Pumas.
“As devastating as it is to write those words, it’s balanced with a renewed sense of, well, HOPE,” executive producer Jay Sweet wrote in a statement. “It’s Rhode Island’s motto for good reason and it’s also the feeling you, 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 hardship stronger and more connected than ever before.”
The festival will be offering refunds to its ticket holders, however the event organizers have encourage ticket hodlers to donate to the Newport Festivals Musician Relief Fund. Funds from this benefit will go toward ensuring the festival’s continuation for next year.
Several prominent music festivals have either cancelled or postponed this year, with SXSW becoming the first major festival to be shut down due to the COVID-19 restrictions placed on the city of Austin. Coachella and Stagecoach, two massive festivals held in the city of Indio in California have been postponed until Fall.
Established in 1959, the Newport Folk Festival has hosted legendary artists such as Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry and Joan Baez.