Sea.Hear.Now returns to Asbury Park on Saturday, Sept. 21 and Sunday, Sept. 22, after last year’s major success and popularity among festival-goers. The two-day festival encompasses all-day music, surfing, food, art and sustainability, taking place on the beach, boardwalk and in Bradley Park.
THE START OF SEA.HEAR.NOW
Sea.Hear.Now was a dream for many years, said Tim Sweetwood, festival director. The rich musical history of Asbury Park coupled with the seaside location makes for a dream location and was the driving force for a festival that celebrates “music, art, and surf.”
Incorporating each facet behind Sea.Hear.Now as opposed to just featuring live music provides a different and unique take on your typical musical festival. According to Sweetwood, Sea.Hear.Now will bring fans over 25 performances on three stages, all on the gorgeous Asbury Park waterfront. Outside of the incredible lineup, the festival will also feature surfing expression sessions between the stages with top pros, demos and live surfboard shaping.
Sweetwood also shared that Danny Clinch’s Transparent Gallery will come to life on-site featuring pop-up performances and original artwork by many of the multi-talented musicians on their bill. “Danny’s Pop Up Gallery will return with original artwork from bands on our bill as well as intimate performances,” he added.
When festival-goers get hungry they can grab a bite of delicious regional cuisine from top restaurants and purveyors from the boardwalk and beyond.
While this year is only the second year for Sea.Hear.Now, there seems to be no end in sight for the dream turned festival. “Absolutely,” said Sweetwood in response to whether he wished to make this a yearly event and annual tradition for the area. “We are so thankful for the community’s support and hope to make this an annual tradition for years to follow.”
THE MUSIC LINEUP
This year’s headliners are the Dave Matthews Band on Saturday and The Lumineers on Sunday. Sweetwood is excited for this year’s music line-up.
“A sold-out crowd with feet in the sand, in iconic Asbury Park will be history in the making.” Those aren’t the only shows on this year’s lineup that he is looking forward to. “Sharon Van Etten, Black Pumas, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, The B-52s… need I say more?”
Again this year, there will be three stages for the musical performances. The Surf Stage and the Sand Stage will both be located on the beach and the Park Stage will be located in Bradley Park.
Sustainability and raising awareness is also another major element of the festival. According to the Sea.Hear.Now official website, Musician Jack Johnson awarded Sea.Hear.Now his ‘All At Once Sustainability Award’ for U.S. festivals, as a result of showing real leadership in the movement to “green” the music industry.
“Having Jack Johnson headline on our inaugural year was perfection on many levels,” said Sweetwood. “Jack and his team helped us to expand upon our already robust greening practices and we are continuing these practices for future festivals.”
“We are committed to raising awareness about the issues facing our ocean environment, including the global plastic waste crisis and climate change,” he added.
This year’s surfing element of the festival will feature surfers Balaram Stack, Sam Hammer, Brett Barley, Rob Kelly, Andrew Gesler, Mike Gleason, Pat Schmidt, Clay Pollioni, Quincy Davis, Cassidy McClain, Autumn Hays, Tom Ihnken, Randy Townsend, Simon Hetrick, Logan Kamen, Maddie Ryan, Morgan Iglay, Jude Clark, Seth Conboy and Kyle Tester.
“Fans will be able to view surfing expression sessions between the stages with top pros, demos and live surfboard shaping throughout the two days,” said Sweetwood.
“We are excited to bring fans traditional Jersey Shore delights, our food vendors will have something for everyone from vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options,” shared Sweetwood.
This year’s food vendors will include Hoagitos, Arancini Bros, Brando’s Citi Cucina, Dellano’s, Highway 2 Ohana, Humpty’s Dumplings, Island Noodles, King of Pops, Local 130 Seafood, Local Smoke BBQ, Melt Shop, MOGO, Mud City Crab, Playa Bowls, Roberta’s Pizza, Rook Coffee, Shawarma Point, Simply Southern, Tony’s Sausage and Try Vegan.
OTHER NOTEWORTHY HAPPENINGS
If music, surfing, art, food and sustainability weren’t enough to make this festival top notch, Sea.Hear.Now has other exciting happenings taking place during the festival.
“Each morning a community-based surf activation will allow wounded veterans and children with disabilities to ride the waves with our all-star staff comprising of the best wave riders on the East Coast,” said Sweetwood. “Operation Beachhead will run this activation and supply all gear and organize the participants.”
“This event happens eight blocks south of Convention Hall at a break called the 1st Avenue Beach,” he added. “Run times are planned from 8 to 11 a.m. daily.”
Another morning activity to look forward to during the festival is none other than yoga. “Additionally, each morning of the festival, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Eoin Finn will lead a yoga class onsite,” shared Sweetwood. “It’s free to attend and open to the general public.”
“We encourage attendees to arrive early as there will be a security checkpoint prior to entering,” he said. “Check out the Sea.Hear.Now website for additional details.”