Charlestown Rhythm & Roots annual music festival has been canceled

Chuck Wentworth’s annual Rhythm & Roots music festival held a prominent place in his big heart. The Charlestown music festival was in the hearts of many fans, too, which was great. 

But Wentworth’s actual heartbeat was not great. It was irregular. 

The festival’s 70-year-old founder and seemingly perennial organizer found himself at risk last summer in the midst of the toughest management job he’d ever encountered — due in large part to the pandemic. 

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On the Saturday of the Labor Day weekend event, his wife, Deb, told him he wasn’t himself. At the hospital, the doctors didn’t like his vital signs. They admitted him. 

On Wednesday, Wentworth announced that after more than two decades, his family-run music fest has run its course. He cited guidance from his doctors and said the stresses of the year-round job are too great. 

The festival, which drew an estimated 10,000 people to 227-acre Ninigret Park over the holiday weekend last year, has been a major contributor to the late-summer economy along Rhode Island’s southern shoreline.

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