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Festival (1967)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Music | 23 October 1967 (USA)
Black and white footage of performances, interviews, and conversations at the Newport Folk Festival, from 1963 to 1966. The headliners are Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, and ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Herself
Horton Barker ... Himself
Fiddler Beers ... Himself
... Himself
... Himself
Paul Butterfield ... Himself
... Himself
... Herself
Cousin Emmy ... Herself
... Himself
... Himself
Mimi Fariña ... Herself
Richard Farina ... Himself (as Dick Farina)
Ronnie Gilbert ... Herself
Mrs. Ollie Gilbert ... Herself


Black and white footage of performances, interviews, and conversations at the Newport Folk Festival, from 1963 to 1966. The headliners are Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, and Bob Dylan, who's acoustic and electric. Son House and Mike Bloomfield talk about the blues; John Hurt, Howlin' Wolf, and Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee show its range. The Osborne Brothers perform bluegrass. Donovan, Johnny Cash, Judy Collins, Mimi and Dick Farina, and others less well known also perform. Several talk musical philosophy, and there's a running commentary about the nature and appeal of folk music. The crowd looks clean cut. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The folks at Newport would like to blow your mind. See more »


Documentary | Music


Not Rated




Release Date:

23 October 1967 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


First of the theatrical documentaries on counter-culture music festivals, preceding Monterey Pop (1968) and Woodstock (1970). See more »


Joan Baez: [singing] I put him in a tiny boat, And cast him out to sea, That he might sink or he might swim, But he'd never come back to me...
See more »


Featured in American Masters: No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

A Nostalgic Walk Down Memory Lane
24 July 2018 | by See all my reviews

I had the privilege of attending the Newport Folk Festival in 1967, shortly after my high school graduation. While this documentary covered the four summer events prior to the one that I witnessed in person, this brief visit to the past brought back many pleasant memories. What struck me was how neat and restrained the audience seemed to be in the early 60's as opposed to the much more volatile, highly charged audiences only a few years later.

These earlier years revealed the folk music genre in its relative state of uncorrupted purity before rock and pop music began to influence it literally to death only a few short years later. Also notable was the large number of African American artists who appeared at the Festivals even though the audience remained predominantly white. As the Civil Rights movement progressed, the harmony between the races that existed within it rapidly diminished, as it did within other aspects of American life as I personally experienced it. Significantly, when I attempted to return home to suburban New Jersey from the same 1967 Festival, I was shocked to find myself stranded in New York City due to the suspension of public bus service to my home town, which nervously sat only a few miles down Springfield Avenue from the Newark race riots that had erupted during the very same July weekend. For certain, as Mr. Dylan so brilliantly expressed, "the times they were a changin'", and we had no idea exactly how quickly and how drastic those changes were occurring before our very eyes.

Considering what an enormous impact the 1967 Festival had on my life as a very impressionable teenager, I am sorry to agree with the reviewer, den_Quixote, who wrote one of the few negative critiques here. Although I loved the music, the film was a huge jumble of incoherent sequences that were constantly interrupted at inappropriate moments. The rambling reactions of the audience members were not properly and professionally edited either. Although the biggest stars (Dylan, Baez, Cash, Collins, Bikel, Ste. Marie, PP&M, etc., in no special order) were recognizable, at least to me, I found it very frustrating that none of the performers were identified and that there was no apparent chronology to the four years that were covered. What also hit me as very odd was that the subject of the Vietnam War, which had a huge influence on the folk music genre of the late 1960's and which was, in turn, significantly impacted by the folk music movement of the time, seemed incomprehensibly absent from the film.

I very much wanted to rate this documentary higher but could not do so as a result of all of its disappointing weaknesses. For me, it amounted to a missed opportunity not only to capture a beautiful and important era of genuine American culture but a critical chapter in American history as well. I was sad to return to such an innocent and idealistic period of my own youth but also remorseful that the time and the subject were not presented more effectively and more meaningfully to following generations who need to understand them.

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