Bob Dylan Goes Electric at the Newport Folk Festival

July 25, 1965

On July 25, 1965, the typically acoustic guitar-toting Bob Dylan took the stage at the Newport Folk Festival with a Fender Stratocaster and an electric backup-band. His performance of Maggie’s Farm was met with raucous booing from the audience. Until then, many folk-aficionados believed that protest musicians had an moral imperative to perform on traditional, ‘non-commercial,’ acoustic instruments, considered to be ‘of the people.’ By playing the highly-commercialized Stratocaster, Dylan challenged the restrictive ideology of his audience, unified folk music with rock music, and encouraged people to see rock, folk, and their respective instruments as forms of and media for protest.


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Wald, Elijah. Dylan Goes Electric: Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night That Split the Sixties. New York, Dey St., 2015.

Ochs, Alice. Bob Dylan Goes Electric at Newport Folk Festival. History, A&E Networks,
---. Bob Dylan with Electric Guitar.
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