Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1967, Festival seamlessly blends footage shot at the Newport Folk Music Festival over four years, from 1963 through 1966. These were the years when folk was at the cutting edge of American popular music, but it was also the period of electrification, the point at which rock and pop would take over. Filmmaker Murray Lerner captures a remarkable line up of performers, some of them relatively unknown today (Fred McDowell, Mississippi John Hurt, Fiddler Beers), while others remain household names: Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Johnny Cash.
Joan Baez plays at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Saturday July 19.
"Though not nearly as famous as Monterey Pop (1968), Woodstock (1970), or Gimme Shelter (1970), Festival is an equally fascinating artifact of the turbulent ’60s music scene."—Stuart Galbraith IV, DVD Talk
"Marvellously entertaining."—Roger Ebert