Newport Folk Festival 2023 day 1 pics & video (My Morning Jacket, James Taylor, Maggie Rogers, more)

Newport Folk Festival returned for its 2023 edition on Friday (7/28) at Newport’s Fort Adams Park. The festival is known for hosting surprise appearances and fostering unique collaborations between artists, and that was evident from its first day this year, when James Taylor played a surprise set to replace Noah Kahan, who had to cancel at the last minute. “I would have loved to have been able to tell you this earlier,” Noah wrote on his Instagram story, “but after spending the day in the hospital, meeting with multiple doctors, and having my vocal cords looked at, I have to cancel to avoid long term consequences to my voice. I have always wanted to play this festival and it is not just lip service to say that I am devastated. Genuinely. I fucking hate cancelling shows and this isn’t something I do lightly. It is painful for me. I hope you enjoy the festival and are able to have the amazing experience that you deserve. I’m so sorry.”

James’ set included classics like “Something in the Way She Moves,” “Sweet Baby James,” “Carolina in My Mind,” and his rendition of Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend.” What’s Up Newp points out that he said he found out he’d be playing an hour before his arrival, by boat, at Fort Adams. See his setlist, and a couple of attendee-taken video clips, below

My Morning Jacket, closing out day one, also covered a Carole King song, “I Feel the Earth Move,” which they brought out Margo Price for. Earlier in the set, they brought out Maggie Rogers (who also performed her own day one set) to cover Fleetwood Mac’s “Say You Love Me.” They had one more special guest during their set too: The MuppetsAnimal, who joined them on drums. See their setlist, and video from their set, below.

Day one at Newport Folk also featured Heavy Makeup (with Edie Brickell and CARM), Nickel Creek, The Heavy Heavy, Slaughter Beach, Dog (who performed with Erin Rae), Del Water Gap, Mdou Moctar, The Beths, Peter One, and Laden Valley. See pictures by Emilio Herce below.