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2020 Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals Canceled Due to Coronavirus

Festival’s decision to cancel its 2020 events was made in accordance with state officials

Patti Smith at the Newport Folk Festival in Fort Adams State Park, Newport, Rhode Island, on July 23rd, 2016.

Griffin Lotz for Rolling Stone

This year’s long-standing Newport Folk and Jazz festivals have been canceled due to ongoing health and safety concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I believe we can emerge from this adversity stronger and more connected than ever before,” said Jay Sweet, the executive producer of the festivals.

The Newport Folk and Jazz festivals are two of the most historic and longest running music festivals in the country. The Jazz Festival began in 1954, and the Folk Festival followed five years later, in 1959.

This year’s Newport Folk Festival would have featured the National, Randy Newman, Mandy Moore, Waxahatchee, and others, and the Jazz Festival was to include top names like Wynton Marsalis, Norah Jones, Diana Krall, and Jimmy Cliff.

“Although we won’t be able to gather at the fort this summer, rest assured we have invited all the announced artists to join us next year,” said Sweet, who made the decision to cancel the festivals in accordance with Rhode Island’s ongoing restrictions on mass gatherings. “In the meantime, we promise we will all commune one way or another on our festival weekend. As always, we have some secret surprises in store as well, so stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks. Until then, be present, be kind, be open, be together, and stay strong.”

Ticket holders have the option of receiving a full refund, applying their tickets to a membership that essentially gives them a presale package for 2021, or donating their tickets to the Newport Festivals Foundation, which has kick-started a COVID-19 Musician Relief Fund to provide aid to artists who have played either festival in the past.