The 2nd annual Sea.Hear.Now Festival was in town last weekend and what a weekend it was. More than 25 bands played on 3 stages to a sold out crowd of 35,000. people. Some of the headliners included the Dave Matthews Band, The Lumineers, The B-52’s, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Dropkick Murphys, Dispatch, and many more.
It was difficult to see them all but there was plenty to do while people waited to see their favorites. Some festival goers just hung out on the beach in the sun drenched 85 degree weather. Others found a shady spot to keep cool. There were games to play, tons of choices for food and drink, and a VIP area with seating and a platform to watch the performances from.
Sea.Hear.Now is more than just a music festival. Along with an incredible lineup of bands, surf enthusiasts got to enjoy live surfer expression sessions with pro surfers, board shaping demos, and more. Some of the surfers performing were Sam Hammer, Mike Gleason, Quincy Davis, Corey Lopez, Maddie Ryan, and Morgan Iglay to name a few.
Clinch Transparent Gallery
There’s also an art component to the festival. The Danny Clinch Transparent Gallery, located in the Asbury Hotel serves as a music venue, an art gallery and local living room. Sea.Hear.Now created an on-site Pop Up space featuring original artwork from many of the multi-talented musicians on the festival’s roster, including Dave Matthews and Donovan Frankenheimer. There were also special acoustic sessions.
Below left, Infinite Color and Sound by Michael Kravetsky. Below right, Low Cut Connie by Chris Capaci.
The amazing work of local artist Pork Chop was once again the center piece of the festivals art installations with his iconic surfboard arch returning, with rendition, as well as his sea life (soaring Jellyfish) sculptural interpretations and more!
Sea.Hear.Now, is the recipient of musician Jack Johnson’s ‘All At Once’ Sustainability Award by creating a platform to raise awareness about the issues facing our ocean environment, including the global plastic waste crisis and climate change. Their water stations and Rock and Recycle initiatives help to minimize plastic pollution and lower their carbon footprint.
Photos taken by official photographers for Sea.Hear.Now
As mentioned there were 25 bands performing on 3 stages over the course of two days, not to mention the pre-shows that were held at The House of Independents and The Asbury lanes. Other than the headliners, I was not familiar with most of the bands and artists.
Seeing Joan Jett & the Blackhearts was the highlight of the festival for me. Although, by the time the weekend was over I had my favorites among some of the other artists.
One in particular that stood out was The Marcus King Band. His raspy voice combined with a southern creole sound caught the attention of many, drawing a huge crowd and giving a memorable performance. As did all the bands who performed this weekend. The high point was when he called Jake Clemons on stage to jam with them and closing the show with “Born to Run” delivering an amazing performance!
The Marcus King Band w/ Jake Clemons
Some of the names I heard mentioned during the festival were Bad Religion, Lowlight, The Wrecks, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Drop Kick Murphys and Blind Melon. There was something for everyone and a completely family friendly event.
Thoughts for next year: I was surprised at how low-key the boardwalk was on Friday night. It would be cool to have activities like a meet and greet on the Friday before. There could be several. Let the local businesses get in on the fun and give people a jump start to the weekend.
A cocktail party in the Carousel with a jazz performance by local musicians could be fun. That would be a different musical twist, as well as give people the opportunity to see the amazing art that’s on display as part of the Wooden Walls Project.
Overall it was a wonderful weekend. A well done event that seems to be growing each year. There will never be another Woodstock, but there is Sea.Hear.Now.
Photo by Terri Buttitta