S2 Newport Folk | Episode 2: It Became a Utopia

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Now that you’ve heard what a special place Newport Folk has become, let’s go back in time to learn a bit more about how we got here. Guided by the founder of the Newport Folk Festival, the legendary George Wein, we’ll take you to the roots of the festival with one-time Newport board member Judy Collins, and we’ll hear from Preservation Hall’s Ben Jaffe about the role Newport played in developing the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which you may have learned about in Season 1. We’ll travel from legendary moments from the festival’s early history, including Mavis Staples’ first opportunity to meet Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, to Newport’s return from hiatus in 1985, all the way to Jim James and current Executive Director Jay Sweet first approaching George Wein with a vision for the future of the festival, which simultaneously brought it back to its roots. All of these moments have led to a stronger Newport community than ever, a place where veterans and newcomers alike are constantly working together, influencing each other, and inspiring us all to strive for a spirit of unity and a better world.


Festival Circuit: Newport Folk is presented by Osiris Media, and hosted by Carmel Holt. It is co-written, co-produced and edited by Carmel and Julian Booker, who is also the series’ audio engineer. Production assistance from Zach Brogan. Executive producers are RJ Bee and Christina Collins. Show Logo and Art by Mark Dowd.


The theme music is “Ruminations, Pt. 3 (Afternoon Haze)” by Stephen Warwick. Thanks to Billy Glassner of the Newport Festivals Foundation for providing archival audio. Additional archival audio provided by the Alan Lomax Collection at the American Folklife Center, Library Of Congress, Courtesy of the Association for Cultural Equity. Many thanks to our folk family guests: Ben Jaffe, George Wein, Judy Collins, Phil And Brad Cook, Kari Estrin, Amy Ray, Emily Saliers, Jim James, Jay Sweet, Kristian Mattson, Margo Price, Brittany Howard, Danny Clinch, Jess Wolfe, Holly Laessig And Yola.




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