Monday, August 02, 2010

Sunday Photos from Newport Folk

Newport Folk 51
photos by 5342 Studios

Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings

Sharon Jones - I Learned The Hard Way

NEWPORT FOLK 51 - The World's greatest music festival turned another, dramatic page on Sunday. It was the 51st closing ceremonies and with a flourish on the Fort Stage with Levon Helm and friends, the Festival (with its modest beginnings) embarked into a new age. Newport Folk walks the delicate line between music and cultural festival. It's a family place but an absolute heaven on earth for young music enthusiasts. It's a musician's place but undeniably for vacationers and historians. Newport Folk could be the best music festival for any one or two of these things and certainly it is, for them all.

We applaud the artist booking (all relevant, hip - both?!) Planners avoided the big drop-off some feared after coming off last year's huge 50th Anniversary Celebration - and in making that transition gracefully, the festival kept the love, grew the crowds and took an artistic step into the future with its fans. This is not a music festival you should be overlooking as you plot your summer vacations.

There were a number of logistical improvements of note at the old Fort this year which probably went unnoticed by the masses. Only a pair worth noting in this space. The Quad Stage, erected in the middle of The Fort solved two immediate issues for fans. First, it gave a large open area for fans to enjoy large band sets. And secondly, it opened up Fort Adams to the People.

One of the goals of the Festival is surely to identify that the Fort to the masses. And open it up, they did. The Quad Stage will prove, I am sure, to be one of the legacy wins for planners. Sound was perfect despite the daunting challenge of playing music inside the wide confines of an old stone fort. Brilliant weather and this gorgeous setting added to the mystique of seeing Ben Sollee, Daniel Moore, Jim James, Elvis Perkins, April Smith, Pokey Lafarge and David Wax Museum.

Alex from Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros - Home

Alternatively, The Fort's Harbor Stage had a much inferior configuration and poorer access this year. This fact did not impact the majority of the Newport sets. The layout headaches became all to real for fans and organizers alike on Sunday when Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (an act drawing many hundreds - if not thousands - of fans at the festival) were squeezed into the Harbor Stage area. As a result, the Edward Sharpe set was threatened with cancellation by Fire Marshals and Police concerned for public safety. The show did go on, but only after rows were cleared and overflow space was opened up. I am not kidding you when I say that this was the highest attended show of the weekend in possibly the smallest of available stage spaces. The band was very good - but sight lines for attendees were all but non-existent. Edward Sharpe was a slam dunk for the Fort Stage. This was the only blemish on otherwise perfectly orchestrated weekend.

NEWPORT FOLK 51 - Sunday, Aug 1, 2010

all photos by 5342 Studios

Jazz Preservation Hall Band

1 comment:

mike said...

aw man, so jealous of this.