Various Artists (Newport Folk Festival)

It is important to stress just how important the Newport Folk Festival festival quickly became to the US folk world in the few short years since its start in 1959. The scene then was primarily centred on the main towns and cities of the East: New York, Cambridge, Philadelphia and Boston. The Festival rapidly became the key event of the year: a place to showcase significant singers and groups, and for music business insiders to congregate. Managers, promoters, writers and scene-makers all gathered to make deals, catch new acts and discuss trends among the 37,000 folk fans who turned out for what was the biggest bash on Rhode Island so far. It was an accolade for any artist to receive an invitation to perform at the festival, which was run by a board that included key performers from the folk world.

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