Newport Folk Festival today announced that Bartees Strange has joined its 2023 festival lineup. Peck is scheduled to perform at Fort Adams State Park on Saturday, July 29, 2023.

Bartees Strange is a rising musician and songwriter hailing from Mustang, Oklahoma, who has been making waves in the music industry with his unique blend of rock, hip-hop, and indie-pop. Born in 1989, Strange, whose real name is Bartees Cox Jr., grew up in a family of musicians and began playing guitar at a young age.

After graduating from high school, Strange moved to Washington D.C. to attend college and pursue his passion for music. He played in several bands and released his debut EP, “Holly-Would”, in 2014. However, it was not until the release of his debut album, “Live Forever”, in 2020, that Strange gained widespread recognition.

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“Live Forever” received critical acclaim and was named one of the best albums of 2020 by several publications, including NPR and Rolling Stone. The album explores themes of identity, race, and belonging, and features a range of musical styles, including rock, R&B, and electronic music.

In addition to his solo work, Strange has collaborated with several other artists, including rapper Kota the Friend and indie rock band National Parks Radio. He has also been involved in several musical projects, including a tribute album to The National and a cover of Jeff Buckley’s “Grace” album.

Beyond his musical talent, Strange is also known for his activism and advocacy work. He has been a vocal supporter of Black Lives Matter and has used his music to raise awareness about social justice issues.

With his unique sound, powerful lyrics, and commitment to social justice, Bartees Strange is a rising star in the music industry and one to watch in the years to come.

On his behalf, Newport Festivals Foundation has made a grant to Future of Music Coalition, which helps musicians navigate the complicated business structures and public policies that impact their lives and livelihoods. Funds will help cover design costs for free educational materials they are creating to help musicians understand how music licensing works, and help ensure they get paid what they’ve earned when their music is used, according to Newport Folk Festival.

The sold-out 2023 Newport Folk Festival will take place July 28 – 30, 2023, at Fort Adams State Park.

2023 Newport Folk Festival Lineup

This announcement is just one of several recently made by the Newport Folk Festival. The festival’s Artist Gives program, which donates funds to music education programs for every artist on the lineup, has also seen donations made to various other charities.

Among the previously announced lineup artists is Orville Peck, who will perform on Sunday, July 30. Orville Peck is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician, known for his distinctive style that blends classic country and western with dark, cinematic elements. He first gained attention in 2017 when he released his debut single, “Big Sky,” under the pseudonym Orville Peck. On Orville’s behalf, the Newport Festivals Foundation has made a grant to Fender Play Foundation, which provides new Fender guitars, basses, and ukuleles to elementary and middle school students. Funds will be used to support audio and visual recording of an end of year showcase for students from 10 elementary schools to perform for the community at an outdoor park in Los Angeles

The Backseat Lovers, an indie rock band from Salt Lake City, Utah, who will perform on Saturday, July 29. The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Joshua Harmon, drummer Juice Welch, bassist and backing vocalist Jonas Swanson, and lead guitarist and keyboardist Ethan Christensen. On behalf of The Backseat Lovers a donation has been made to the Nurture the Creative Mind, an organization in their home state of Utah that provides free multimedia experiences for youth including music production, recording and film. 

Jupiter & Okwess, a Congolese band that has garnered international recognition for its unique fusion of traditional Congolese rhythms with contemporary rock and funk influences, will perform on Sunday, July 30. The band is known for its high-energy live performances and has been lauded for its commitment to using music as a means of promoting social change and cultural exchange. On their behalf, Newport Festivals Foundation has made a donation to Guitars not Guns, a nonprofit organization that provides guitars and lessons to foster children and at-risk youth as a way to steer them away from violence. The funds donated by Newport Festivals Foundation on behalf of Jupiter & Okwess will be used to purchase guitars, straps, tuners, gig-bags, and instruction books.

Jonathan Richman, an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist known for his minimalist, acoustic sound and quirky, often humorous lyrics, will perform on Sunday, July 30. Richman’s donation will support the festival’s music education programs.

Billy Strings, an American bluegrass guitarist and singer, has also been announced as a performer and will perform on Sunday, July 30. On his behalf, Newport Festivals Foundation has made a grant to the Appalachian Artisan Center’s Culture of Recovery program, which teaches people suffering from substance abuse disorders to build high-quality stringed musical instruments.

New Zealand indie-pop band The Beths is also set to perform at the festival on Friday, July 28, and on their behalf, Newport Festivals Foundation has made a grant to Die Jim Crow Records, a non-profit record label dedicated to releasing the music of formerly and currently incarcerated musicians.

CAAMP, the Ohio-based folk-indie band, kicked off the festival’s lineup and will perform on Friday, July 28. The band has previously played at the festival and is passionate about supporting music education programs. This year, they have generously agreed to match Newport Folk’s grant to support the Harmony Project, a music education program in Columbus, OH.

More on newport folk festival

Goose to perform at the 2023 Newport Folk Festival

For their Artist Give, Goose asked Newport Festivals Foundation to provide a grant to TeachRock, which uses music to make history, science, math, language arts and other subject areas exciting and relevant to young people.


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Ryan Belmore

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  He 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.

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

In 2020, he was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.

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

Born and raised in Rhode Island, he spent 39 years living in Rhode Island before recently moving to Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife and two rescue dogs. He still considers Rhode Island home, and visits at least once a month.