Hey all -
I just found out I'll likely be out of town on business during the Jazz Festival. So I thought I would share some insights from last year in the likely event I can't attend.
First of all Newport is gorgeous and the food, bars and nightlife in the area is wild. Or it can be a quiet escape, your call. The music is out on an island, I recommend taking the ferry over from the marina it's only a few dollars ($6 I think) and a pretty ride. The gen adm is on a large lawn area and the acoustics are amazing c/o JBL corp who sponsors the event. Dave Brubeck is getting up there in his years and for me it was a near-religious experience to watch him and his son jammin' on "Take Five" and others.
It's hard to find affordable lodging this late in Newport but it's also very nice to stay in Newport so if you can round up friends and split a room. We split a huge room in the Marriott three ways and it was $400 / night, only stayed one night. Other small hotels sometimes require more than one night. There are B&B's in the area that often have rooms left but they want 2 nights.
If you have a boat or friend with a boat you can anchor just off the festival grounds for free. Hmmm this might be a good collaborative event with the kayaker's meetup... lot of folks kayak'ed over too.
There is food and drink out there, and some cool vendors. Usually I don't pay any attention to the tent vendors at events but there were some amazing items last year.
You could also go just for the day or drive in/out from neighboring towns with more availability.
Here is my photo album from last year - I am pissed to be missing it this year but yes, the paycheck rules my life...http://livemusic.meetup.com/43/photos/
Hope you go, I'm sure you'll enjoy the experience!