The 2015 festival represents the fiftieth anniversary of Dylan "going electric", and the organisers will mark the event with some special performances.
It was a three song set that helped the change the course of pop music history: Bob Dylan ‘going electric’ at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. Exactly fifty years after the event, the festival’s organisers are to mark the event at the 2015 edition with an event billed as ‘’65 Revisited’.
According to The Guardian, the festival’s producer Jay Sweet is to unveil an “all-star line up” of roughly a dozen contemporary artists who will come together to celebrate the infamous moment. However, he is adamant that the festival won’t try to re-create it in any way, like getting Dylan back to replicate the set.
Bob Dylan's iconic 1965 Newport Folk Festival performance will be marked this year
“Having him back would be the least Newport way to celebrate it,” said Sweet. “Trying to recreate that moment is a fool’s errand. We’re about the future, not about reliving the past.” However, Dylan does apparently having a standing, open invitation to play at the festival each year, something he’s not taken up since 2002 when he appeared in a false beard and wig.
At the 1965 festival, Dylan put on a Fender Stratocaster and played a very short set before departing the stage after three songs to a hugely unhappy reception. Many folk fans believed Dylan to be a traitor for selling out the folk movement in order to pursue a passing trend – less than a year later, he was heckled by the crowd at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall and called ‘Judas’.
In fact, it helped create the folk-rock fusion which has been so influential on rock and pop music ever since, as Dylan embarked on three era-defining albums using the sound – Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde. The guitar Dylan was using that day went up for auction in 2013, and sold for $965,000.
The ’'65 Revisited’ event is expected to close the three day event, which takes place from July 24th-26th and already features The Decemberists and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters as headliners.
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