The Light of Day music festival also referred to as LOD Winterfest, began as a single show at the Stone Pony. It’s now a festival that spans over 10 days in the New Jersey and New York area. Next year it will celebrate its twentieth year as a successful concert series and fundraiser for Parkinson’s disease and related illnesses such as PSP and ALS.
The first year Light of Day raised over $2000. Last year it raised over $5 million. I want to thank all the musicians for volunteering their time and talents.Tony Pallagrosi, Executive Director.
From LOD’s website:
“The concerts and the organization began as a birthday party in November 1998 at the Downtown Cafe in Red Bank, NJ to celebrate the 40th birthday of artist manager and music industry veteran Bob Benjamin.
“Benjamin had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, and in lieu of gifts, asked that donations be made to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. Over $2,000 was raised that night. Spurred by the generosity and support, Benjamin reached out to friends, including concert promoter Tony Pallagrosi and musician Joe D’Urso, and formed the Light of Day charity, taking its name from a Bruce Springsteen song.
“The first official Light of Day concert was held at Asbury Park, NJ’s legendary Stone Pony in November 2000 and primarily featured local, unsigned artists. The critically acclaimed Pittsburgh-based band Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers (managed by Benjamin) headlined the show, which featured a surprise appearance by local hero Bruce Springsteen, who joined the Houserockers for a raucous hour-long set.
“Light of Day has since expanded into an internationally recognized tour, through a true grassroots effort of musicians, music fans and benefactors. The shows take place around the world on 3 continents, including six shows in Canada, an 18 day late November into December trek through Europe, with stops in England, Wales, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, plus a brand new Light of Day event in Australia! Portions of the proceeds from each show are donated to a local Parkinson’s organization.”
The LOD Kickoff show was at The House of Independents on Thursday, January 17th. And “Bob’s Birthday Bash” show was held at The Paramount on Saturday night, which is their biggest event of the series. There were several other shows at various venues all over town, and as a collaboration with LOD, the Asbury Underground Art and Music Crawl also took place on Saturday, January 19th in the downtown.
I like to think of the Light of Day music festival as being somewhat like the Cannes Film Festival. Fans come from all over the globe to see the shows and listen to music. It’s an opportunity for local musicians to play their original music and to be seen and heard by a diverse, multi-national crowd. It’s also fun for local musicians to come see some shows when they’re not performing.
During the weekend I met several people from other countries, who were staying at, The Asbury and The Berkeley Oceanfront Hotels. The people I spoke to were from England, Wales, Scottland, Ireland, and Germany. And they came just for the Light of Day Winterfest. Since the LOD series tours through most of Europe in the fall, it’s understandable that people would love it so much they want to come and see American musicians play in the City where it all started.
The Light of Day Foundation does a wonderful job raising money and awareness for debilitating diseases like Parkinson’s, PSP and ALS. They also do a wonderful job of giving exposure to musicians and an opportunity to play in front of large audiences, and they do a wonderful job of stimulating the economy in Asbury Park during the dead of winter. Thank you Light of Day for choosing Asbury Park as it’s home. Where else would it be?
The one thing you can be certain about is there will always be music in Asbury Park. No matter what time of year it is. More photos from pre-Light of Day shows.
Anthony Krizan performed at The Wonder Bar with the John Ginty Band the Friday before LOD kickoff. A talented guitar player and definitely somebody to watchout for.
Click here to read the interview with Emily Grove