Lukas Nelson at the 2019 Newport Folk Festival

Day 1 of the 2019 Newport Folk Festival is in the books, and by all accounts, it was a day to be remembered. There were great vibes, the weather was perfect, and surprise guests appeared at every turn.

2019 is undoubtedly the year of the woman at Newport Folk. The Highwomen, a supergroup comprised of Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris and Natalie Hemby, made their debut performance with an over-the-top set. They were joined by special guests Yola and Jason Isbell, playing the role of sideman.

Festival veteran Amy Ray played a great set and brought Brandi Carlile out for a couple of songs. Great sets from Charley Crockett, Cooks in the Kitchen, Adia Victoria, Warren Haynes and Kasey Musgraves made for a special day.

The Festival has always introduced up and coming artists and this year was no different. The Quad stage saw high energy sets from Black Belt Eagle Scout and Liz Cooper and the Stampede. Blues great Cedric Burnside rocked the Harbor Stage and London, UK native Yola won over the crowd with her classic sound.

Phil Lesh, legendary Grateful Dead bassist, closed the evening with his band. He ran through a Dead inspired set of tunes and included special guests Warren Hayes on CSNY’s “Almost Cut My Hair,” and Sheryl Crow on “Not Fade Away.”

So ended a pretty much perfect day.

We’re sharing some photos from WhatsUpNewp/WhatsUpRI photographer Rick Farrell below. Check back tomorrow for pictures of Day 2.

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