By the Time You Read This, It’ll Be Over: A Pre-Newport Ramble
Missing the first night — likely the best of the three, given my taste and interest — is sort of a bummer. But, on the other hand there’s still two more days and nights to wander around the festival site, to hopefully discover a new act or the reinvention of something old. And, to be completely honest, the music and performances will run second to just being there.
This will be my first trip to the Newport Folk Festival and, if you believe in ghosts like I do, brushing up against the spirit of a young Dylan or Baez, sitting between Seeger and Lomax, or taking a lunch break with Johnny Cash, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf will far exceed any expectations.
When I applied for and then received my press credentials, it was more on a whim to see if they might consider an often foolish blogger such as myself, for a community-based website such as No Depression, on the same level of some mainstream media mogul or a NY Times professional journalist. Apparently they do. And they should rethink that for next year. I’ve not yet left town and am already breaking the rules.
First off, in addition to getting a plastic press laminate to dangle around my neck that tells more pedestrian citizens that “I’m really important and you’re not,” they gave me free tickets for each day. That’s about $300 face value, or maybe even more if you bought them on Stub Hub for $1000. It’s been sold out since they pretty much went on sale and the cost skyrockets. Supply and demand.
Me being me, I had already bought my two tickets for Saturday and Sunday, so I’ll chalk it up to supporting the musicians and foundation, and just give them away when I get there, to someone not expecting it. Hopefully a young person who traveled far to get there in hopes of scoring a ticket at close to face value. Like the old Dead shows, and the signs people held up that read “I Need A Miracle.”
I like to surprise and delight.
The Newport people asked us press types to focus on pre-festival hype. Why? They’ve already filled the joint up. Everybody who needs to know about Newport already has heard it. So what’s the point? But they’ve been very nice to me, so I’m doing what’s expected I suppose. So here it is:
There’s a great big giant music festival this weekend in Rhode Island but please don’t come because we’re sold out. Its going to be great so plan better for next year and download our app and like our Facebook page ASAP.
And that pretty much is my pre-festival piece. (With one exception: to all you press and publicity types who’ve been filling up my inbox the past three weeks, hyping and offering interviews and quality time with your artists, thanks but no thanks. If I want to talk to somebody, I’ll just go up and say hi. And, if you think you need to protect them and schedule them and manage them and their words and their images, it ain’t the folk music tradition I’m looking’ for. I’m in search of the ghosts.)
So hey…I’ll be the guy in sunglasses, SPF2000 and a hat. I look somewhat like my picture up on the top. If you see me, say hi. And in the meantime, here’s some stuff I wish I could see but won’t.