Newport Oyster Festival’s Music Performers

After you’ve tasted your way around the Ocean State, dance your way around at it at the 3rd Annual Newport Oyster Festival Friday, May 18 - Sunday, May 20 here at Bowen’s Wharf! Rain or shine our festival tents provide cover for over 20 growers, food trucks, sweets, vendors and sampling opportunities. As you’re indulging in Rhode Island oysters and other tasty treats, enjoy great live music all weekend long. The music includes seven talented bands providing a variety of music with a range of styles, including: folk, soul, blues, jazz, R&B, surf rock, Caribbean and reggae.

Many of the bands have rocked the festival before and are returning for an encore performance. These bands are definitely back by popular demand, but that’s not the only reason they’re returning. The bands love performing at the Oyster Festival at Bowen’s Wharf almost as much as guests love the oysters. Four of the bands explain in their own words why. 

Atwater Donnelly    



 Atwater Donnelly is an awarding winning husband and wife duo and the two play a mix of American and Celtic folk.  Atwater Donnelly have been playing at Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival for a decade, and this year they will be performing at the Oyster Festival fundraiser on Friday night.    

“We love being in the Newport waterfront environment, celebrating Rhode Island's long shellfishing, fishing, and seafaring history in one of America's oldest cities.  For this particular event, it's fun to be a part of, and witness, the reviving oyster industry in the area,” says wife Aubrey Atwater.  “Bowen’s Wharf is a feast for the senses and as performers, we enjoy interacting with the bustling international crowd.”

The New 40 

The New 40 will be kicking off Saturday’s entertainment from 11am to 1pm.  Their music, a soulful groove with a twist, is sure to get everyone on their feet, so bring good shoes and prepare to dance.  

“We love playing this festival because it’s one of the first ones of the season and people are ready to get outside and have some fun- as is the band! We get to preform in front of a lot of tourists who come to Newport just for this event and we also draw a lot of our local friends and followers,” says band member Ray Davis.  “The crowds are really attentive and the Bowen’s Wharf area is hopping with lots of people, great food, people dancing and really getting into the music, and that makes it so much fun for us.”

Chelley, Bill and Dyl 

Chelley, Bill & Dyl have a cool jazz sound with soulful R&B and a touch of country. The band will be wrapping up Saturday's entertainment from 3 to 5pm, so be sure to stick around. You've never heard volume and energy like this from another female vocalist around here.

“We enjoy playing the Anchor of Newport in May at the Oyster Festival because the weather starts to warm up, and it's a prelude to the busy tourist season which we all enjoy because it brings more people in town and causes a lot of excitement and activity,” says lead vocalist Chelley Knight.  “Bowen's Wharf is special because it's the heart of down town and Newport and boasts of Newport history, not to mention the scenery is wonderful!” 

The White-Eyed Lizard Band


The White-Eyed Lizard Band has been entertaining people with Caribbean Steel Drum Island music since 2003.  The band will be bringing their Caribbean energy to the festival on Sunday from 1 to 3pm. 

“Newport is the place to be when the flowers pop up and the sun shines.  The Oyster Festival kicks off hundreds of events in Newport,” says band member Aaron Cote.  “It brings people from far and wide to celebrate the environment, the culture, the community, and of course, Oysters!  Starting the season at Bowen's is just about the best place to be.”

Music Line Up

Saturday, May 19th, 2018 (11am-5pm)

11am – 1pm: TheNew40 soulful groove with a twist.

1pm – 3pm:  Cee Cee and the Riders west coast and Chicago blues, soulful, powerful, solid rhythm.

3pm – 5pm: Chelley, Bill & Dyl cool jazz, soulful R&B, with a touch of country!

Sunday, May 20th, 2018 (11am-5pm)

11am – 1pm: The TeleDynes surf rock.

1pm – 3pm: White-Eyed Lizard Band caribbean energy.

3pm – 5pm: The Copacetics reggae & ska.