Highlights: The 2012 Newport Folk Festival In Photos

  • In honor of Woody Guthrie's centennial, Wilco opened with "Christ for President," featuring lyrics by Guthrie. Wilco then played a two-hour career-spanning set on Friday night that culminated in an encore featuring Guthrie's granddaughter, Sarah Lee.
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    In honor of Woody Guthrie's centennial, Wilco opened with "Christ for President," featuring lyrics by Guthrie. Wilco then played a two-hour career-spanning set on Friday night that culminated in an encore featuring Guthrie's granddaughter, Sarah Lee.

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  • Wilco's Jeff Tweedy in a fashionable fedora, the unofficial hat of Newport.
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    Wilco's Jeff Tweedy in a fashionable fedora, the unofficial hat of Newport.
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  • Michael Dale of Amherst, Mass., dances during Wilco.
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    Michael Dale of Amherst, Mass., dances during Wilco.
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  • Like the storm looming overhead, Megafaun whispered and raged through a set of classic-rock traditionalism with a real ear for experimentation.
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    Like the storm looming overhead, Megafaun whispered and raged through a set of classic-rock traditionalism with a real ear for experimentation.
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  • Crowd members tried to stay dry during a downpour on Friday evening.
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    Crowd members tried to stay dry during a downpour on Friday evening.
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  • Blitzen Trapper's breezy classic-rock vibe brought a little Grateful Dead-style love to a drenched Newport audience.
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    Blitzen Trapper's breezy classic-rock vibe brought a little Grateful Dead-style love to a drenched Newport audience.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • On Saturday, the sun returned as fans settled in and snuggled up at Fort Adams State Park, surrounded by Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.
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    On Saturday, the sun returned as fans settled in and snuggled up at Fort Adams State Park, surrounded by Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • The appropriately spirited old-time group Spirit Family Reunion won over the Harbor Stage crowd.
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    The appropriately spirited old-time group Spirit Family Reunion won over the Harbor Stage crowd.
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  • "This is a folk festival, right?" asked Sharon Van Etten in the middle of a raucous set.
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    "This is a folk festival, right?" asked Sharon Van Etten in the middle of a raucous set.
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  • Getting some sun during Apache Relay's show at the Harbor Stage.
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    Getting some sun during Apache Relay's show at the Harbor Stage.
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  • The Swedish sister act in First Aid Kit mixed wearily winsome mountain music with a welcome sunny side.
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    The Swedish sister act in First Aid Kit mixed wearily winsome mountain music with a welcome sunny side.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • Who wants some NPR Music buttons?
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    Who wants some NPR Music buttons?
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  • Woody Guthrie's son, Arlo, played with The Guthrie Family Reunion at the Newport Folk Festival moments before being joined by his grandchildren on stage.
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    Woody Guthrie's son, Arlo, played with The Guthrie Family Reunion at the Newport Folk Festival moments before being joined by his grandchildren on stage.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes on his tippy-toes at the Fort Stage.
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    Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes on his tippy-toes at the Fort Stage.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • At Newport, Alabama Shakes' music reached ecstatic, rafter-shaking heights with singer Brittany Howard dominating the proceedings.
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    At Newport, Alabama Shakes' music reached ecstatic, rafter-shaking heights with singer Brittany Howard dominating the proceedings.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • Jim James' hair and seersucker suit were in full force during My Morning Jacket's headlining set.
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    Jim James' hair and seersucker suit were in full force during My Morning Jacket's headlining set.
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  • Marinda Snow and Brian Geraghty, both of Cambridge, Mass., get all flower child at My Morning Jacket.
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    Marinda Snow and Brian Geraghty, both of Cambridge, Mass., get all flower child at My Morning Jacket.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • Jim James looked fabulous at Newport — yes, that is both a cape and a Roland SP-404SX Portable sampler draped around his neck. The dude was everywhere, too, from an umbrella-toting guest spot with Conor Oberst to a concert with his New Multitudes project.
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    Jim James looked fabulous at Newport — yes, that is both a cape and a Roland SP-404SX Portable sampler draped around his neck. The dude was everywhere, too, from an umbrella-toting guest spot with Conor Oberst to a concert with his New Multitudes project.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • Despite thunder storms throughout the weekend, over 10,000 people gathered at the Newport Folk Festival.
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    Despite thunder storms throughout the weekend, over 10,000 people gathered at the Newport Folk Festival.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • While the former Nickel Creek fiddler shows her pop side more these days, Sara Watkins took center stage with a bit of grit and darkness, too. She was joined by Jackson Browne and Charity Rose Thielen of The Head And The Heart during her set.
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    While the former Nickel Creek fiddler shows her pop side more these days, Sara Watkins took center stage with a bit of grit and darkness, too. She was joined by Jackson Browne and Charity Rose Thielen of The Head And The Heart during her set.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • Varnaline's Anders Parker and My Morning Jacket's Jim James (right) tackled some of Woody Guthrie's most obscure work in their New Multitudes project with Will Johnson (Centro-Matic) and Jay Farrar (Son Volt).
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    Varnaline's Anders Parker and My Morning Jacket's Jim James (right) tackled some of Woody Guthrie's most obscure work in their New Multitudes project with Will Johnson (Centro-Matic) and Jay Farrar (Son Volt).
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • Charles Bradley once made his living as a James Brown impersonator, which no doubt aided in his positively energetic live show that featured a couple wardrobe changes (gold jacket not pictured) and so much dancing.
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    Charles Bradley once made his living as a James Brown impersonator, which no doubt aided in his positively energetic live show that featured a couple wardrobe changes (gold jacket not pictured) and so much dancing.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • Bill Caldwell and Suzanne McQueen, both of Washington, D.C., danced to the funky soul of Charles Bradley outside the Fort Stage.
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    Bill Caldwell and Suzanne McQueen, both of Washington, D.C., danced to the funky soul of Charles Bradley outside the Fort Stage.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • In facepaint and with ukelele in hand, tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus had the folk festival attendees in an ecstatic dance during an epic rave-up.
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    In facepaint and with ukelele in hand, tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus had the folk festival attendees in an ecstatic dance during an epic rave-up.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • With rich harmonies and an irresistible charm, The Head and the Heart's sweet folk-pop graced the main stage.
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    With rich harmonies and an irresistible charm, The Head and the Heart's sweet folk-pop graced the main stage.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • Fans cheered for The Head and the Heart as they play the main stage.
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    Fans cheered for The Head and the Heart as they play the main stage.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • All the way from Iceland, Of Monsters and Men had the crowd singing along with them during the set.
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    All the way from Iceland, Of Monsters and Men had the crowd singing along with them during the set.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • Kristian Matsson may look like just a man and guitar, but as the Tallest Man on Earth, his painfully intricate fingerpicking and bellowing vocals mesmerized the audience.
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    Kristian Matsson may look like just a man and guitar, but as the Tallest Man on Earth, his painfully intricate fingerpicking and bellowing vocals mesmerized the audience.
    Erik Jacobs for NPR
  • Conor Oberst was joined on the Fort Stage by a roster of the weekend's most talked-about acts: First Aid Kit for "Classic Cars" and "Lua"; the members of Dawes for "Soul Singer," "Method Acting" and "Make War"; and Jim James for "At the Bottom of Everything."
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    Conor Oberst was joined on the Fort Stage by a roster of the weekend's most talked-about acts: First Aid Kit for "Classic Cars" and "Lua"; the members of Dawes for "Soul Singer," "Method Acting" and "Make War"; and Jim James for "At the Bottom of Everything."
    Erik Jacobs for NPR

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There's no hiding that the Newport Folk Festival has become a more musically diverse experience. This past weekend, indie rock artists with folky roots (Wilco, Conor Oberst, Sharon Van Etten), left-field electro-Afro-beat ravers (tUnE-yArDs) and soul singers (Charles Bradley and, to a certain extent, Alabama Shakes) shared stages and sometimes collaborated live with bona fide legends like Arlo Guthrie and Jackson Browne.

Despite inclement weather, music lovers came to the sold-out festival, surrounded by Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. There were several tributes to the late Levon Helm and, as is Newport standard, plenty of Bob Dylan covers. And even though he never played the festival himself, Newport celebrated the Woody Guthrie centennial (Guthrie would have turned 100 on July 14) all weekend long, remembering his legacy of song and activism.

You can see even more photos from the 2012 Newport Folk Festival on the NPR Music Facebook page.

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