The next two 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 about the three music festivals taking place over the next few weeks,

Newport Folk Festival – July 26 – 28

  • $25,000 – donations made during the Festival weekend will be matched by Nicole and Peter Dawes Foundation up to $25,000.
  • 10,000 — Capacity of Fort Adams each day of the Newport Folk Festival.
  • 1,800 – Bike Newport reports that they helped park 1,800 parks during each day of the Newport Folk Festival.
  • 300 — Tickets sold to each night of Deer Tick & Friends After Parties at Newport Blues Cafe.
  • 60 — Years since July 1959 when the Newport Folk Festival started as a counterpart to the previously established Newport Jazz Festival.
  • 34 — 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 Late July Kids Tent).

Newport BridgeFest – July 29 – August 1

  • 10 — This will be the 10th Newport Bridgefest, since being founded in 2009 by Lois Vaughan and then run by the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County.
  • 4 – 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 2 – 4

  • 10,000 — Capacity of Fort Adams State Park each day of the Newport Jazz Festival
  • 93 — Age of George Wein, the “father” of outdoor music festivals.
  • 65 —years ago (1954) the first Newport Jazz Festival was held in Newport.
  • 60 —time slots scheduled for the 2019 Festival, from Berklee Global Jazz Workshop Ensembles on Friday morning to Common on Sunday evening.
  • 38 — 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.
  • 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 to play at the Friday Night Concert at the International Tennis Hall Of Fame. 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.

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 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...