BRADLEY BEACH — Riley Park played host to the first Bradley Ramble on Sunday, with musicians playing to a socially distanced audience.
In the past two years, the ramble concert series had been held in Little Silver as the Two River Ramble. This year, the concert moved to the bandshell at the park, located on Main Street.
“We needed a change of venue for this year, so I reached out to some folks here in town and I have gotten great support. This is a perfect venue for this,” David Ballard, producer of the concert said. He also is a member of one of the bands that performed at the event, Tired Starlings. “It’s just a great town, and the combination of the town, the perfect location, it’s just a great option.”
Local artists Tara Dente, Martin Howth, Wishbone and the house band and Tired Starlings, entertained more than 150 people at the park.
The free concert was important to “get some live music going” and to give local musicians the opportunity to play to a live crowd.
Many local music events have been canceled due to the COVID-19 health pandemic, such as the Sea. Hear Now Festival in Asbury Park.
“For these guys … it’s brutal. It has just been devastating for them having their livelihoods taken away,” Mr. Ballard said of local musicians impacted by the pandemic.
His bandmate, Mike DeSantis, said that “it’s wonderful to play with all these other musicians.”
“These are people who I would never have met before or never have played with. Dave [Ballard] did a really good job reaching out and getting some really talented folks,” he added. “It’s always just an eye-opener to see all the talent that is all around this area.”
Those who attended wore masks and stayed socially distanced from one another. There was also a wide berth given to musicians who performed, with audience members staying well away from singers.
“I am glad we are able to do it now in a safe way and we have the support of the town,” Mr. DeSantis said. “I am concerned about everyone’s health and safety, but music is important for your spiritual health too.”
The concert was sponsored by local businesses in Bradley Beach, including the Bradley Brew Project, D’Arcy’s Tavern and Rare as well as the Bradley Beach Business Community Alliance.
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