We’re starting to enter the time of year where summer concerts are being announced right and left including the big music festivals. This past week alone has seen lineup announcements for Bonnaroo and Firefly. Unlike past years instead of doing a big lineup announcement The Newport Folk Festival has been rolling out their lineup a band at a time over the past few weeks with many more to come. I’m not exactly sure the reasoning behind it. I follow them on Twitter and a few months ago they were holding a conversation there about various ways to announce bands that would allow them to play Newport and not violate clauses in contracts they had with other music festivals or something like that. I don’t know all the legal issues involved and as I said this was months ago so it’s all rather fuzzy at this point. At any rate I’m guessing this has something to do with the way the lineup is being rolled out.
Having purchased my tickets the day they went on sale before a single band was announced it doesn’t much matter to me how the lineup is announced. In fact it’s been kind of fun watching my Twitterfeed for the announcements which seem to be coming a couple times per week. I tweeted at one point that it was like getting a gift every few days when I find out another artist I love is going to be playing. Of course I know that eventually this is going to lead to some heartbreak unless I figure out how to clone myself before the festival so that I can see multiple bands play at once.
The other great thing about the slow roll out is that it gives me a chance to check out the artists I’m not familiar with on Spotify. I have a whole big Newport Folk Festival playlist going. I made one last year too, but since the whole lineup was announced at the same time last year and I already knew the people I was going to want to see I just wound up listening to them a lot and didn’t spend a great deal of time listening to the artists I didn’t already know. With the way things are going this year when a new artist is announced I go ahead and listen to them on Spotify because it’s easy to do this one artist at a time as opposed to feeling completely overwhelmed looking at a huge lineup list. So far it turns out that even for most of the bands I didn’t think I knew, once I listened to them I was like oh hey I know that song. I had no idea this was who sings it. Even if I know I’m not going to get to see all these people play at the festival it’s still been a great way to get to know artists I didn’t know before or to get more familiar with ones I barely knew.
I’m looking forward to seeing what other bands get added to the lineup over the coming weeks. And of course I definitely can’t wait until the last weekend of July when the festival itself finally rolls around.