A new era for Newport Jazz and Folk festivals

Words by Kate Menzies
Photos by Brian Lima

Why the historic music festivals made the switch to digital ticketing with DICE

Since the 1950s, Newport’s Jazz and Folk festivals have been the site for a multitude of famous music moments – Billie Holiday and Lester Young’s onstage reunion in ’54; Duke Ellington Orchestra’s performance with Paul Gonsalves in ’56; and in ’65, Dylan went electric, and Joan Baez hosted an 18-year-old Donovan on stage. These historic family festivals are deeply rooted in the community, and every year they attract thousands of fans from around the world.

Digital ticketing for modern fans

After years of paper ticketing, in 2022, Newport Festivals Foundation switched to entirely digital ticketing with DICE, which not only made the ticket-buying process much easier for fans, but removed any chance of fraudulent paper tickets being sold, too. Keeping better track of data and reporting about fan attendance also allowed the team to improve the planning behind event security and entry management. In addition, 10% of ticket sales were due to discovery of the festival through the DICE app.

Sons of Kemet

Results from Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals


Of tickets sold on the on-sale date for Newport Folk Festival 2022


Countries had ticket purchases from more than 1K fans


Fraudulent tickets presented at 2022 festivals

A new era

“A whole new ticketing system that was completely digital for fans was intimidating at first but festival-goers engaged well with DICE,” says Deb Girard, Director of Ticketing & Administration for Newport Festivals Foundation, of the change.

The partnership will continue in 2023, with tickets already sold out for both festivals. Girard explains that “the most important thing to us is fan experience, and to see fans of all ages using the app quickly was great. Eliminating ticket fraud was also an important piece of the puzzle, and after reporting zero fraudulent folk tickets this year, we’re very satisfied with our new ticketing partner.”

If you’re interested in working with DICE, get in touch.

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