New Yorker Nile Rodgers had his initial hits in the 1970s with Chic, then became a producer-on-demand for dozens of top artists. Several years ago, Rodgers was diagnosed with cancer, and this led to a renewed effort at writing and creating. In 2015, he launched the two-day Fold! Festival in Riverhead, New York, featuring Beck, Pharrell, Keith Urban, Public Enemy’s Chuck D, Chic and other artists. The acronym FOLD! stands for "Freak Out Let's Dance!"
Rodgers hosted a similar three-day festival in June 2016 in London, England. Beck, Chic, Angie Stone, Alison Moyet and the Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey were among the performers there.
The festival returned to New York on a rainy night at Forest Hills Stadium on October 8. In addition to Chic, this evening's performers included Bette Midler, Earth, Wind & Fire, the Village People, Glee's Alex Newell, DJ Cassidy, DJ Nicky Siano of Studio 54. A portion of each ticket sold benefitted the not-for-profit We Are Family Foundation.
Rodgers told NY1 that he was thrilled to be performing at Forest Hills Stadium. “I get to play in the same spot the Beatles played in,” he said. “I get to play the same spot where Arthur Ashe played. Yeah, that’s a big deal.”
Nile Rodgers and his band, Chic, backed most of the artists and also performed their classic dance hits, "Le Freak" and "Good Times."
Bette Midler performed four songs, backed by Rodgers and band.
Earth, Wind & Fire closed the night with a full set.