Jersey Shore Music Fest

jersey-musicThe Jersey Shore has been synonymous with many things, among them surf, sand… Snooki. And song. From the early days of legendary rock clubs like The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, the Chatterbox on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights and Joe Pop’s on Long Beach Island, from the Tradewinds in Sea Bright to Avalon’s Phil’s Bongo Room (yes, that is a real club. I know because I played there), music has been pouring out of beachfront clubs both small and large for decades. Whether it’s rock and roll, jazz, blues, coffee house or hip-hop, Jersey jams in a way that not many areas of the country get to lay claim to. And baby, the beat goes on.

On July 20th the first inaugural Jersey Shore Music and Arts Festival will rock the rafters at First Energy Park (Blue Claws Stadium) in Lakewood. This one-day event will showcase over 50 local bands from here at the Jersey Shore as well as a few national acts thrown in for good measure. The music will range from metal to country, bringing everyone together for a fantastic day of fun in the sun. For the musically educated and uneducated alike, the Main Stage lineup includes bands like River City Extension, the Front Bottoms, Aer, Brick+Mortar, the Main Squeeze and Sofistafunk. In my editorial opinion, there are three bands not to be missed among the 6 stages spread out across the grounds. The first of these is national act Papadosio. Originally from Ohio, now based in Ashville, North Carolina, this quintet melds progressive rock with psychedelia, folk with electronica, and dance music with jam. This festival cult favorite has amassed a dedicated following of thousands of like-minded individuals who share their inspirational confluence of music, art, science and spirituality. The second showstopper is the band The Hush Sound. This Indie/Rock quartet is back with a new “EP” and soon-to-be-released album after a four-year hiatus. The thirs band to watch out for and listen to very carefully is a local bunch of kids from right here at the shore. Growing up together as schoolboys at St. Peter School in Point Pleasant Beach, these four lads are called Washmen and the Fisher. They are Paul Criscuolo, John Ball, Justin Giannuzzi and John Bogan and they play surf rock that sounds as retro as it does current. Their music was recently featured in the California surf film “Almost Cut My Hair,” where their live performance at the exclusive premiere brought down the house!

In addition to being an all-day music festival, they will also be showcasing over 200 of the Jersey Shore’s most talented artists, crafters, sculptors, jewelry makers, photographers and clothing designers. There will also be representatives from some of the Shore’s finest restaurants, sure to please your palette and for you shoppers, you can find almost anything from surf clothing to antiques.

As summer fun goes, there are beach days, trips to the park, picnics, backyard barbeques and boating excursions for fishing and pure pleasure. But the Jersey Shore Music Fest comes along only once a year. Don’t miss it.

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