The Newport Folk Festival is an American annual folk-oriented music festival in Newport, Rhode Island, which began in 1959 as a counterpart to the previously established Newport Jazz Festival. The festival features performances by folk, blues, country, bluegrass and folk rock musicians, and since 1990s has featured performers from related contemporary genres, such as alternative country, indie folk and folk punk. The Newport Folk Festival was founded in 1959 by George Wein, founder of the already-well-established Newport Jazz Festival, backed by its original board: Theodore Bikel, Oscar Brand, Pete Seeger and Albert Grossman. The festival is renowned for introducing to a national audience a number of performers who went on to become major stars, most notably Joan Baez by her appearance as an unannounced guest of Bob Gibson in 1959, and Bob Dylan, in turn a guest of Baez at the 1963 festival.
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