This year’s Newport Folk Festival, much like every other concert, was canceled due to the global pandemic, but that didn’t stop organizers of the legendary Northeastern music festival from celebrating the diverse musical tastes that have kept it going through six decades.

In lieu of a physical festival, organizers and artists contributed to the making of Our Voices Together, a quarantine concert film/documentary that highlights the spirit that has made Newport Folk Festival such a lasting cultural institution. Featuring performances from Brandi CarlileBrittany HowardChris ThileCourtney BarnettGrace PotterJames TaylorJason Isbell and Amanda ShiresJim JamesLake Street DiveLuciusMargo PriceMolly TuttleNathaniel RateliffPatterson HoodRoger WatersTom Morello, Yola, and many more, the film seeks to bring the music, and more importantly the feeling, of Newport Folk Festival to homes across the country and around the world.

Beginning with a message from executive producer Jay Sweet, the festival is put into the context of the veritable human revolution society is currently facing. Even for a music festival that has had the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War, AIDS outbreak, and many more significant historical events as a backdrop, Sweet still singles out this particular year as being the most turbulent in the festival’s long-running history. Sweet makes clear that, while the Newport Folk stage has served as a platform for artists for decades and will continue to do so, this year, Our Voices Together will serve as the stage and “the voices you hear, that’ll be the megaphone.”

Related: Revisit Robert Hunter’s 2014 Performance At Newport Folk Festival [Full-Show Audio]

From there Brandi Carlile opens the film with a somber performance of Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah” while a montage of images from Newport Folk Festivals past and the presently-empty festival grounds appear on screen.

“I believe in Newport because it’s always been on the right side of history, and it always will. See you next year,” Carlile said to close her performance.

Our Voices Together featured many timely and relevant performances pertaining to the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight for racial equality, including Devon Giffillian‘s song “The Good Life”. The optimistic tune imagines the time, hopefully sooner rather than later, when the violence stops and we can all leave our doors unlocked.

The film also takes time to interview many performers about the current state of live music. Nathaniel Rateliff reflects on the nature of songwriting and its relationship to performing, saying “You write songs, you record them, a lot of the times they mean a lot to you. Relinquishing some feelings and moving forward emotionally is also playing those songs live, so its been a bit of a bummer to not be able to express that or be that character.”

Langhorn Slim says it perfectly with “Things could be stranger, but I don’t know how,” in the opening line to his song “Changes”.

As with the physical festival, Our Voices Together also saw some remarkable one-time combinations of musicians. Courtney Barnett and Phoebe Ridgers shared the screen for a take on Gillian Welch‘s “Everything Is Free”. Meanwhile, Roger Waters and Lucius singers Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig honored the late John Prine with a cover of “Hello In There”.

Of course, it wouldn’t be the Newport Folk Festival without some of that culturally-relevant, revolutionary spirit. For that ethos, organizers had to look no further than Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who offered up his own “Flesh Shapes The Day” from his The Nightwatchman folk persona.

The grand finale of the film, in true Newport Folk Festival fashion, is a superjam delivering a much-needed cover of “What The World Needs Now Is Love”. Led by Jim James alongside Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius, an ever-expanding ensemble featuring Chris Thile, Yola, Grace Potter, Patterson Hood, and many more taking on the classic Hal David/Burt Bacharach composition.

Watch the full Newport Folk Festival film Our Voices Together below. The concert film also serves a fundraiser for Newport Festivals Foundation which, in the last year, has provided financial relief to over 400 musicians impacted by the pandemic.

Newport Folk Festival — Our Voices Together

[Video: Newport Folk Festival]