The next few weeks are arguably the busiest for restaurants, retailers, streets and just about everything else in Newport.  A lot of that has to do with a few of largest events of the summer taking place, Newport Festival Foundation’s Newport Folk Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, and Newport BridgeFest.

We love numbers and fun facts, here are some random and fun things to know abotu the three music festivals taking place over the next few weeks,

Newport Folk Festival – July 27-29

  • 2.7 tons & 2.2 tons – 2017 attendees helped recycle and compost over 4.9 tons of waste with the support of Spindrift Sparkling Water.
  • 72,000 – Klean Kanteen underwrote all the free water stations at last year’s festival, it helped to avoid 72K plastic bottles from ending up in a landfill or our oceans.
  • 10,000 — Capacity of Fort Adams each day of the Newport Folk Festival.
  • 3,900 – Number of bikes parked at Fort Adams over the three days of the 2016 Newport Folk Festival (1,350 on Friday, 1,250 on Saturday and 1,300 on Sunday), the highest total in the history of the festival.
  • 300 — Tickets sold to each night of Deer Tick & Friends After Parties at Newport Blues Cafe.
  • 75 – time slots scheduled for the 2018 Festival, from Open Mic on Friday morning to A Change Is Gonna Come on Sunday evening.
  • 59 — Years since July 1959 when the Newport Folk Festival started as a counterpart to the previously established Newport Jazz Festival.
  • 33 — Years ago the Newport Folk Festival was revived after falling hard times in the late 1960s, even closing its doors for a number of years beginning in 1971.
  • 28.5 – Hours the Newport Folk Festival gates are open throughout the weekend (9.5 hours per day of music from 10 am to 7:30 pm)
  • 5 – Stages at the Newport Folk Festival (Fort, Quad, Harbor, Museum, and Kids)

Newport BridgeFest – July 30 – August 2

  • 19 — events will make up the 2018 Newport BridgeFest
  • 14 – Newport BridgeFest will take place at 14 different venues in Newport County.
  • 9 — This will be the 9th Newport Bridgefest, since being founded in 2009 by Lois Vaughan and then run by the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County.
  • 3 – For the third year, Newport Festivals Foundation presents Bridgefest, which “bridges” the days between the Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals and celebrates folk, jazz and Newport’s musical community.

Newport Jazz Festival – August 3 – 5

  • 10,000 — Capacity of Fort Adams State Park each day of the Newport Jazz Festival
  • 92 — Age of George Wein, the “father” of outdoor music festivals.
  • 80 – The Festival will celebrate Charles Lloyd’s 80th Birthday celebration.
  • 64 —years ago (1954) the first Newport Jazz Festival was held in Newport.
  • 60 —time slots scheduled for the 2018 Festival, from Berklee Global Jazz Workshop Ensembles on Friday morning to George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic on Sunday afternoon.
  • 37 — years (since 1981) the Newport Jazz Festival has consecutively been hosted at Fort Adams State Park.
  • 28 — Age George Wein was when he helped get the first Newport Jazz Festival off the ground.
  • 20 & 15 – Students 16+ years and older are only $20/day (student ID required at gate). Kids 3-15 are only $15/day.
  • 4 — Stages at the Newport Jazz Festival (Fort, Quard, Harbor, and Museum)
  • 3 — Artists have performed at Fort Adams at the Newport Folk Festival and Newport Jazz Festival in the same year — Rhiannon Giddens, Norah Jones and Jon Batiste, who returns to Newport Jazz for a solo piano set on Saturday at 3:30 pm. Festival buffs will also remember that in 2012, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band played the Fort at the Folk Festival and at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino for Jazz. If you’re going to the Folk Festival this weekend, don’t miss The Sunday Groove featuring the PHJB on July 29.

Economic Impact

Here’s a breakdown of Newport Folk Festival’s and Newport Jazz Festival’s last economic impact study*;

  • $5,089,367.00 – – Estimated direct spending contribution to the State of Rhode Island by the Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals. Previous studies estimated the combined economic impact on Rhode Island at $3,710,000.00. (Impact Studies conducted by The Office of Travel, Tourism, and Recreation at the University of Rhode Island: 1994 Jazz Festival – $2.11 million; 1997 Folk Festival – $1.60 million).
  • 89.1% — of attendees specifically came to Newport and Rhode Island for the Festivals.
  • 79% — of Festival attendees listed the Festival websites as their chief source of information. Social media and word of mouth were other key sources.
  • 56.4% — of Festival attendees were women.
  • 43.6% — of Festival attendees were men.
  • 41.7% — of Festival attendees earned graduate degrees.
  • 25.2% — of overall Festival attendees were in the 25-34 age group.
  • 25.2% — of tickets for the Newport Jazz Festival purchased by Rhode Islanders online.
  • 22% — of the overall attendees earned an average income of $100,000 – $149,000.
  • 15.8% — of tickets purchased for the Newport Folk Festival purchased by Rhode Islanders online.

*The latest study done to measure the economic impact of the Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals on Newport and the State of Rhode Island was done in 2013 for the 2012 events.

Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and serves on the Board of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and Lucy's Hearth. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.