The Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County (ACA) announced at its 24th Annual Meeting tonight that it has transferred rights to its popular BridgeFest music festival to Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc.

“Each summer for the past seven years, BridgeFest has supported, promoted and celebrated our many local musicians, showcasing their extraordinary talents. It has been a pleasure seeing the four days of music that bridge the gap between the iconic Folk and Jazz Festivals grow into such an eagerly anticipated summer event in its own right,” said Nancy McAuliffe, President of the Arts & Cultural Alliance.

“However, it became readily apparent to our Board of Directors that the purpose of BridgeFest overlapped with many of the recent Festivals Foundation initiatives, especially its educational events for young people and families and growing support for local musicians. The world-renowned success of both the Folk and Jazz Festivals now allows for programming well beyond the original two weekends.”

The Newport Folk Festival® takes place July 22-24 followed by the Newport Jazz Festival® July 29-31, with BridgeFest between the two events.

There are two Newport BridgeFest already scheduled to take place at the Jane Pickens Theater and Events Center, a Retro Country Experience Starring Joann Svendsen and Mack Johnson on Tuesday, July 26th and Doug Woolverton will present a Tribute To Miles Davis on Thursday, July 28th.

 “Newport Festivals Foundation is excited to support the community through this important cultural endeavor. We are pleased that the ACA, which presented BridgeFest for seven years, is entrusting this great tradition to our Foundation,” said Jay Sweet, Executive Producer of Newport Festivals Foundation.  “In 2016, we’ll take a look at programs that have been part of BridgeFest and explore opportunities with other local groups. In addition, we will continue to produce our free family concert at Fort Adams on the Wednesday between festivals as well as add some other surprises.”

For more information on how to be a part of BridgeFest 2016, visit the web site at

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.