Bob Dylan to Be Honored at Newport Folk Festival, 50 Years After Electric Controversy

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1965 has been called one of the best years in music history by nostalgics and critics alike. But for many a Bob Dylan fan and so-called expert, it was the year he plugged his guitar in and never looked back.

The Newport Folk Festival has hosted many rising and established music stars on its stages, but few as famously as Dylan, who shocked the world 50 years ago by debuting his first rock and roll set, complete with electric instrumentation and now-iconic songs “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Maggie’s Farm”. Amid boos and jeers from an expectant crowd accustomed to the popular folk anthems Dylan debuted on a national scale at the festival only two years earlier, the music legend’s notorious vocals could barely be heard.

Now, nearly a half-century later, a collection of voices will join in commemorating Dylan’s iconic break from folk music in what is reportedly being billed as ‘65 Revisited. According to the Huffington Post, the festival’s producer, Jay Sweet, the performing cast will be kept secret, but is an “all-star lineup” featuring almost a dozen contemporary artists who will use the mega set to honor Dylan and his influence.

Although Dylan has not performed at Newport since 2002 and is not said to be performing again, attendees can eagerly anticipate the anniversary, along with this year’s scheduled performers, from Tallest Man on Earth, to Shakey Graves, to Courtney Barnett, covering the legend’s songs—whether or not they plug in.

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