Newport Folk Festival
Photo by Douglas Mason/WireImage
Newport Folk & Jazz Festivals 2020 Canceled Due To Coronavirus Pandemic
Rhode Island’s renowned Newport Jazz and Folk fests have officially been canceled ahead of their summer 2020 dates, with festival organizers citing state advice against large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic as its means of nixing the annual concerts. As two of the longest-running musical festivals ever, the well-known events have hosted performances from legendary artists like Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Ella Fitzgerald and Johnny Cash in its past editions.
"As devastating as it is to write these words, it’s balanced with a renewed sense of, well, HOPE," wrote Newport festival organizer and Executive Producer, Jay Sweet in a statement addressing the cancellation. "It’s Rhode Island’s motto for good reason, and it’s also the feeling 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 adversity stronger and more connected than ever before."
Sweet additionally confirmed that performers and headliners scheduled for this year’s lineup have been invited back to perform at the festival in 2021. He stated that the festival would host programming in some capacity during previously scheduled weekends, saying: "As always, we have some secret surprises in store as well, so stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks."
Festival organizers are offering ticket holders full refunds in addition to a couple of other options, one being to donate either the partial or full ticket price towards sustaining the festival for 2021 and supporting the foundation’s initiatives for music education. The other option is to apply the refund to a "2021 revival membership" that would grant three-day admission into next year’s festival.
The Newport Festivals Foundation is a 501(c)3 that puts profits made from festivals each year into community-driven purposes, such as funding music programs for remote communities in Alaska, donating instruments to hurricane-affected students in Puerto Rico and advocating for jazz education in underfunded school systems.
Last month, Newport Festivals launched its Musicians Relief Fund to alleviate financial hardship for artists, their crews and wider festival personnel severely impacted by the pandemic. You can find out more information and consider donating to the cause here.
You can also support Newport festivals efforts in year-round music education advocacy, funding of artist grants and continuing fests and events in the future by donating at their site.