PART ONE: The grass clippings Guide to the 2011 Newport Folk Festival

This year’s Newport Folk Festival sold out for the first time since Bob Dyan’s historic return to the festival in 2004. While it’s not the only festival that’s doing well this year, you won’t find any other festival this summer with a lineup more packed with both burgeoning and established talent than this. But before I get into all that heehaw, I thought I’d give a few logistical tips for first-timers. Given that this is only my second year at the festival, I’m no expert on all of the stuff that you don’t want to miss…but here’s my bottom-line guide:

  • FOOD (first things first): Unlike many festivals, there’s pricey stuff and cheap stuff here. I can still taste a lobster roll I had last year. I don’t see it on the menu this year, but I’m pretty intrigued by the Thai food and the farm raised burgers & dogs. If you’re on a budget, hit the Fort Adams Concessions stand. It’s dirt cheap, if my memory serves me right. Oh and if you’re a lactard (like me) or cow-lovin hippie, you can mosey over to the Like No Udder stand for some tasty (?) dairy-free soft-serve.
  • FASHION: Save your Tevas and Crocs for next year’s Merlefest.  People keep it classy in Newport.
  • SATURDAY NIGHT: The Saturday shows wrap up at 7:20 PM, so hanging out around town is totally doable, even after a long day. Here’s a good foodie post for dinner recommendations. Also, Deer Tick is doing a shows on Friday and Saturday night. I’m sure there will be a few surprise guests there.
  • TRANSPORTATION/PARKING: Unless your handicapped or bought a parking ticket when you bought your concert ticket, you should probably figure something else out for parking soon. Last year, I took water taxis from town and that worked pretty well ($10 round trip). Lots of fun and the lines aren’t that long even at peak times.
  • WEATHER: Right now it’s looking pretty perfect.

Feel free to shout out other tips in the comments. Music recs to come!