Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc.invites local artists, clubs, restaurants, theaters, museums and other organizations to participate in Bridgefest® 2018, the annual celebration of Jazz, Folk and Newport’s rich musical community. Bridging the gap between the iconic Newport Folk Festival® and Newport Jazz Festival®, the series of events – including concerts, films, educational programs and music-related activities presented by area venues and promoters – will take place across Newport County July 30 – August 2.

Venues and artists interested in participating must register their events through the submission form on the Bridgefest website at www.newportbridgefest.com by 5:00 pm on Friday, June 1. Artists interested in being a part of Bridgefest need to find a local venue to present them. Inquiries received from artists without a location will be passed on to participating venues for consideration. Applicants will be notified within five business days if their event has been accepted.

Participating events, which can be free or paid admission, will be listed on the Bridgefest website and included in advertising and social media. More information on the four-day celebration and additional submission details are on the website.

Now in its third year under the banner of the Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc., Bridgefest was founded in 2009 by the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County.

The 2018 Newport Folk Festival, which is sold out, is set for July 27 – 29 at Fort Adams State Park. Artists to date include Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Lucius, Courtney Barnett, Shakey Graves, Valerie June, Cheech & Chong, Gary Clark, Jr., The Lone Bellow, Toots and the Maytals and Brandi Carlile. For additional information, go to www.newportfolk.org.

The 2018 Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Investment Managers takes place August 3 – 5 at Fort Adams State Park and the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino. Artists include Charles Lloyd’s 80th Birthday Celebration with three different bands; Pat Metheny with Antonio Sanchez, Linda May Han Oh, & Gwilym Simcock; Living Colour, Andra Day, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Alicia Olatuja, Jon Batiste, Michel Camilo, Grace Kelly, Laurie Anderson & Christian McBride Improvisations with special Rubin Kodheli and Roy Hargrove. More artist announcements are coming soon. For tickets and additional information, go to www.newportjazz.org.

Newport Festivals Foundation fosters the legacy and expands the impact of its Festivals through educational initiatives that celebrate innovation while preserving the deep traditions inherent in Jazz and Folk music. The Foundation’s goal is to offer opportunity, inspire through exposure and facilitate the collection of resources needed for musicians to celebrate and innovate. The focus on creating unique experiences to spark engagement is accomplished through a variety of initiatives, including instrument donations and performances at schools throughout Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. For more information, please visit www.newportfestivals.org.

Ryan Belmore is the 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 - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

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 ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.