In this bonus episode, I am chatting about the upcoming Sea Hear Now Festival coming to NJ fall of 2023.
Show Notes and Transcript
In this bonus episode, I am chatting about the upcoming Sea Hear Now Festival coming to Asbury Park, NJ this September.
Hey everyone welcome to the Eat Sleep Breathe Music podcast. I am your host Jeanette Kimszal. For those of you just joining us, this is the podcast where I talk about different musicians and how their music affects me and then play I track of theirs for you to listen to.
However, today I am doing something a little different. It’s another bonus episode.
And what sparked this whole, I guess the inspiration for this episode is the Sea Hear Now festival coming to Asbury Park this September.
And for those who are not familiar with the festival. Basically Asbury Park I would say it…It could be better known for people who are Bruce Springsteen fans, and Gaslight Anthem fans.
It’s a big music and arts town. A lot of musicians play here and come from here. So it’s no, it’s no surprise there is a music festival here.
It actually started back in 2018. That was the inaugural event that had happened. It’s a neat thing you know it’s music. It’s surfing. It’s environmental awareness.
That first year the festival launched featured
Blondie, Social Distortion, Incubus, Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, Kaleo, Brandi Carlile, Soja, Frank Turner, The Wailers, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
The festival continued annually with the exception of 2020 due to the Covid pandemic of course. Last year the headliners were Green Day and Stevie Nicks.
The festival also features a lot of local Asbury acts. A lot of up-and-coming. It’s a great festival if you’re interested in finding new artists.
It seems to be getting bigger and bigger each year which can be both great and also annoying to some of the residents there (laughing).
I know every year when the festival takes off. They shut down the north end of the boardwalk and then people get offended.
The one thing that is good is they do it in September after the season has ended. I think if they did it…there is no way they could do it in the summer.
It would just be..it would just be pandemonium. I remember the one year I think it was the MTV music awards and The Jonas Brothers.
They had put up a stage for them to play there and that was like so ridiculous. It was a Sunday in August and there were people there who lined up for the show.
And there were people there for the beach and hanging out. And it was just…it was pandemonium. So if they ever did a music festival. There is no way it could be done in the summer. It would just be a bad idea.
I had gone to the 2019 festival. I don’t remember why. I think I wanted to go to 2018 and we just didn’t get tickets right away and they were gone.
And it was said because there were a lot of good bands. I remember thinking this was the first time that Asbury was having the festival.
And it was the first time Asbury had a festival in a while. I think the last thing they had on the beach like that was Bamboozle festival back in 2012.
So we got to go in 2019 and also went in 2021. I don’t think we got tickets in 2020. But then due to Covid people sold back their tickets.
And then we got tickets to last year’s show. I remember a lot of people grumbling about the lineup for last year’s show.
They were complaining no one wanted to see Stevie Nicks and no one wanted to see Green Day.
A lot of people I knew were like I’m not going to and it’s not worth it. It’s not great. We went. I had a good time. It was fun. The weather was wonderful.
We got to see new bands. We discovered the band Idles and Wet Leg.
Another thing that people seemed to be pissed off about last year. Was that the tickets went on sale before the lineup was announced and so by the time the lineup was announced. I think tickets had gone up in price and I think that people were ticked off.
They were ticked off because they didn’t like the lineup or because tickets went on sale before the lineup was announced and by the time they wanted to get tickets because they were a fan the tickets were too expensive.
So for us, it’s easy because it’s literally like 10 minutes from where we live. We were thinking we wanted to support the town. We wanted to go and see some music.
And we thought it would be fun. And also the great thing about this festival is you can leave and come back. If you want to go on the boardwalk to get food.
You want to go home. You want to go back to your hotel if you are close enough. You have the option to leave and come back. So that’s a really nice feature of this festival.
We were kind of like..even though it was up in the air. We were kind of like we didn’t know. We weren’t committing to so many things last year that we were like get it.
And we were also worried about the ticket prices getting too expensive and we were like that element of surprise. Because we were like “who’s gonna be at the festival?”
We didn’t know. And then I was still…happy with the results. It’s a nice time. It’s getting bigger each year.
And this year what they did is actually announce the festival lineup before tickets went on sale.
And I’m curious to know if ticket prices were not that great last year doing it that way. You know? They didn’t get a lot of ticket sales right out of the gate.
But in a way, it would probably benefit them more if people didn’t buy tickets until the ticket prices go up. Because they have that whole tiered ticket system.
Where it starts like it’s gonna be this price for this many days and it’s gonna go up by $20 and it’s gonna keep going and then there will be a final price.
And I wonder if that made more money or less money than announcing the lineup first and then putting tickets on sale.
Probably the latter, because you think about people who are fans of specific bands that are going to be at festivals they are totally in.
No matter what they are saying “I’m going to see this band. I am going to try to get tickets. And it’s gonna be awesome.”
I think that is a good way to go. I think that’s always a way to appease people because you hear all these people complaining about these festivals who are putting tickets out and not announcing the lineup yet.
So the lineup was announced last Tuesday and it was pandemonium. I think the tickets sold out in less than 4 hours.
Because everyone… it’s interesting to think about the whole entire country and even other countries. And it’s funny because I was looking at the social media page of the festival and people were posting.
Someone had posted asking “Is Asbury in Florida?” They had to map it out. I think it’s great that it’s giving Asbury this exposure and it’s putting Asbury on the map.
And having bigger artists is drawing in a crowd from other places. Hopefully, it will put a lot of money back into the city. That’s why we wanted to support it. We were even thinking of going without knowing the lineup like we did last year.
Because you know you can get them at a cheap price in the beginning and you can go for the weekend and we can ride our bikes there. It’s just a nice…just a nice time.
And just going back to talking a little bit more about the festival. There are two days of music. There are about more than. I think there were 15 bands each day I counted.
The website says more than 25 bands. There are two stages. Two of the stages are on the actual sand. So you can kind of just sit and listen or you can go back and forth.
Then there is a third stage on the grassy area. There is a park grassy area. And it has enough room where you’re not hearing overlapping music. It’s big enough but it’s not too big.
And if you have to get home at a certain time. You can’t stay out too late they have noise ordinances that keep them from playing music after I think eleven or ten o’clock.
So you can go and it’s not too long of a day. There are also late-night shows you can go see at venues in the city. So if you do want to go out late and see music.
I don’t think those have been announced yet. So there’s a lot going on that weekend.
When I saw the lineup announced this year I was surprised. I was like “Wow this is a big one.”
And the price wasn’t bad either. I think one general admission price ticket was like 200 hundred…it was under $300 for that for sure.
The only downside was that there were $70 in fees. Because the company is owned by Ticketmaster. Then there was also a fee for having the tickets shipped to you.
So that’s annoying but it was kind of expected. I was a little annoyed at the $70 fee for the tickets. You know it wound up being $500 for 2 general admission tickets.
But you could also pay that go to see one band. So you’re getting a little bit more for your money. And depending on if you have to travel or lodge. That can also be another expense. So it does get expensive.
But you do get a lot of artistry for that price. And this is the cheaper price I’ve seen for a 2-day festival.
Headlining the festival this year are The Killers and Foo Fighters. Other top-billed acts include Greta Van Fleet, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Weezer, Rebelution, and Mt. Joy.
Some other celebrated acts to see are The Breeders, Living Colour, the Beach Boys, Tegan & Sara, and Sheryl Crow.
While you may not know some of the names on the lineup a lot of these artists are aficionados in the music industry including Otel Burbridge and Cory Wong.
I myself am not so familiar with a lot of the artists on this lineup but after digging into the interwebs I found a lot of them are quite popular and renowned acts.
While the big names are what bring in the crowds but I always enjoy finding new music at festivals. It also makes the show more appealing when you find multiple artists or bands that you’re excited to see.
I’ve been scouring the internet listening to the other bands that will be on the bill. I got so excited last week when the news of the festival hit that I sat for hours just listening to all this music and picking out bands that I want to see at the festival even though it’s not until September (laughing).
Oh well, I’ll be well prepared. I remember when we used to go to music festivals and Lollapalooza we would make
excel spreadsheets because we wanted to see all these bands and we wanted to fit it into the time we were gonna be there.
And we would say “ok we are gonna spend 15 minutes here and then 15 minutes there.” And it was really a big festival. And I remember getting from one side of the park to the other took so long.
Luckily that’s not the case with Sea Hear Now. There’s enough time to get where you wanna go and see the bands you wanna see.
It’s a good size festival not too big not too small. Just going back to the music that’s going to be there here’s a little bit of a breakdown of the bands that will be playing.
So first up is SNACKTIME. They were a band created out of necessity at the height of COVID performing free shows in Rittenhouse Square in Philadephia.
And quickly amassing local notoriety. They have this soul-energizing street performance. It’s a seven-piece brass-heavy band.
They boast positivity. And have a really nice upbeat sound that just kind of puts a smile on your face. I listened to some of the music on their website. They are a band that should be on your list if you’re going to Sea Hear Now.
Another local artist that is someone to check out is Quincy Mumford. This is an Asbury Park-based singer/songwriter with a sound described as soul meets funk meets rock and R&B.
I’m digging his new song “Major Love.” It’s got a lot of elements to it. It’s got this techno vibe but also has a little bit of pop rocky influence in it. It’s a pretty cool track. So I’m looking forward to seeing more of his music at the festival as well.
Surfer girl is another group that should be on your radar. They are described as a beach pop band making wavy tunes. Their latest track “Sunrise” has a soothing reggae sound that will make for fun music listening at the shoreline.
Yawn Mower is another Asbury Park, New Jersey. Their Bandcamp page describes them as a fuzzed-out, doom-pop outfit. To me, it evokes the best of 90’s rock and pop bands. Their one song “Elevation” gives sounds that make me think of the Gin Blossoms. So they are another band to def check out at the festival.
If you’re looking for some trippy psychedelic sounds then Australian band Babe Rainbow will be right up your alley. They have a sound that will make you want to sway along with the ocean breezes.
Bob Moses, the Brooklyn by way of Vancouver duo Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance, created what has been called “post-club.” This appealing sound merges Vallence’s Berlin-style techno with Howie’s singer/songwriting style.
They meld guitars with electronica hooks that make for a dance party that is a delicate balance of pop rock and club music. It has been said to have a sound that would appeal to rock fans and clubgoers alike. I listened to some of their tracks and was intrigued to hear more.
Stephen Sanchez is a Nashville-based musician who gained popularity on TikTok. I listened to a few of his songs and was taken with his old-school 50s and 60’s crooning rock melodies. Check out his latest track “Evangeline.”
If you’re a rock fan Royal Blood is someone to check out. They have a hard-hitting sound that is reminiscent of The Black Keys. They have also been compared to the White Stripes.
Tash Sultana is an Australian gender-fluid multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, producer, and engineer. I loved her finger-snapping easy listening-music. It has these bubbly and entertaining melodies that are guitar-focused and that lovely pop sound. Her music is only surpassed by her soothing vocals. She has been compared to artists like Billie Eilish.
If you’re looking for an infectious and heartfelt time check out Alexander Simone & Whodat? The Asbury Park group is headed by Alexander Simone, grandson to singer Nina Simone. The band had previously played the festival and is back for the 2023 event. They are a staple to the Asbury music scene with their moving and soulful sounds. Check out their latest track “Long Way to Go.”
Waiting On Mongo is seven piece power funk band hailing from Asbury Park, NJ. Their music transcends time with their psychedelic funky sounds. The merging of guitar riffs and groovy horns will make you dance your cares away.
Sunflower Bean is a Glen Head, New York, and Brooklyn-based rock band. They have a danceable indie rock vibe with some soulful singing you will definitely want to check out.
NY-based Easy Star All-Stars is best known for covering popular songs in the reggae and dub styles. They are a great addition to this beachy festival. Their latest is the track “Starman.”
Nashville-based Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country provides a little southern twang to the festival.
California by way of New Jersey-based Adam Melchor brings sweet sing-song folk-pop to the festival. He also has a neat cover of My Chemical Romance’s “I’m Not Okay.”
The Pennsylvania rappers Joey Valence and Brae have made a name for themselves on TikTok with old-school hip-hop flows and beats that sound straight out of the 1980s. If you’re a fan of the early Beastie Boys this is a group to check out.
So there you have it. An overview of all the bands I dug into for this festival. I didn’t go deep into detail about the bands that were well known because people may already know about them or heard who they are or have heard them.
And after listening to all that music I am getting really excited about the festival. Now all I have to do is just wait a couple of months. Which shouldn’t be too hard because time has been flying so fast before you know it will be September.
I’d love to know what are your thoughts on the Sea Hear Now festival for this year.
Are you going to Sea Hear Now?
What do you think of the lineup?
Are there any artists you are really excited to see?
You can tell me in a comment on the podcast webpage. You can also leave an audio comment at the link in the episode summary.
Or if you want to email me you can send me an email at Jeanette@EatSleepBreatheMusic.com
For more information about the Sea Hear Now festival check out their official website www.SeaHearNowFestival.com
That is S-E-A-H-E-A-R-N-O-W-F-E-S-T-I-V-A-L
Thanks for joining me in this bonus episode and If you are looking for more new music be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you will get the latest updates on our artist features. You can also find more music features on our website at www.EatSleepBreatheMusic.com. That is E-a-t-S-l-e-e-p-B-r-e-a-t-h-e-M-u-s-i-c dot com.
Thanks for listening and see you in the next episode!
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