Festival 1967 Criterion Collection
Festival offers an unforgettable trip back to an era when there was genuine enthusiasm for great original content and desire from artists and fans to connect through the power of music. Director Lerner visited the Newport Folk Festivals between 1963 and 1966 and attempted to document as much of the interactions between the performers and the crowds as possible. The bulk of the content shows future legends such as Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, John Lee Hooker, and Joan Baez, as well as lesser known folk performers and bands that essentially share their talent while casually interacting with their fans. Occasionally, the two groups also share their thoughts on the different ways music can free people and help them pursue their ultimate goals in life.

Perhaps the most interesting theme that emerges from Festival is that authentic folk music had managed to give people hope that the future would be better so long as they continued believing in freedom and each other. This remarkable sense of optimism is so easy to detect even in extremely short comments, and frankly today feels indescribably refreshing because it also comes from people of all kinds of backgrounds and ages. Wonderful film.

BD50 + DVD9 | 1080p AVC, NTSC | 01:38:13 | 44.5 Gb + 7.39 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English
Genre: Documentary, Music


Making "Festival" - in this new program, director Murray Lerner, associate editor Alan Heim, and assistant editor Gordon Quinn explain in great detail how Festival was conceived. The program was produced exclusively for Criterion in 2017. In English, not subtitled. (17 min, 1080p).

When We Played Newport - this brand new program takes a closer look at the evolution of the American folk movement. Included in it are Festival interview outtakes, a 2007 interview with director Murray Lerner, and several interviews recorded between 2006 and 2010 with music festival producer George Wein and musicians Joan Baez, John Cohen, Judy Collins, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Pete Seeger, and Peter Yarrow. The program was produced by Criterion in 2017. In English, not subtitled. (31 min, 1080i).

Unreleased Performances - presented here are selected outtakes that were originally recorded by Murray Lerner and his crew. In English, not subtitled. (21 min, 1080p).
1. John Lee Hooker (1963)
2. Tom Paxton (1964)
3. Elizabeth Cotten (1964)
4. Johnny Cash (1964)
5. Clarence Ashley (1963)
6. Odetta (1964)