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Highlands Festival at Waterloo Returns In September

originally published: 06/25/2015

Highlands Festival at Waterloo Returns In September(BOONTON, NJ) -- Tickets are on sale for the 3rd annual Highlands Festival at Waterloo (Highlands Festival) to be held September 19-20, 2015 at Waterloo Village and Concert Field in Byram and Allamuchy, NJ.  For the past two years the festival, which is hosted by the New Jersey Highlands Coalition, had only utilized the historic Waterloo Village area, this year it has expanded to also include the Waterloo Concert Field. This environmental festival is a “Celebration of all Things Local” and promotes local music, food, art, history, cultural and natural resources.

“We continue to grow in size and scope as we host our 3rd annual Highlands Festival at Waterloo,” said Julia Somers, Executive Director of the Coalition. “This festival aims to raise awareness in a fun and interactive way about how important our natural resources are and in particular, to showcase that our precious water source here in the Highlands benefits much of the region.”

This rain-or-shine event is open to people of all ages and features a range of activities, including musical performances, a children’s corner, a local food court, beer garden, crafts and fair trade marketplace, historical tours, animal demonstrations, various workshops, kayaking, and guided nature hikes. A full schedule of events will be released soon. New also this year is the ability to camp at Waterloo during the festival. Festivalgoers that wish to camp are highly encouraged to reserve in advance online, due to the limited amount of spaces available.

The Highlands Festival celebrates Waterloo Village’s past glory as a renowned musical performance venue, enriched by its historic nature and the wealth of musical talent in New Jersey and surrounding areas. In keeping with the locally driven mission, the festival aims to highlight musicians with ties to New Jersey and our local tri-state area. Stay tuned for additional performer announcements in July. This first announcement includes the following list of artists slated to perform in the 3rd annual Highlands Festival at Waterloo: Brown Rice Family, Craig Thatcher Band, Garland Jeffreys, Hub Hollow, Nadïne LaFond, and Occidental Gypsy.

The Coalition is thrilled to bring more music back to Waterloo and to continue adding to the tradition of presenting exciting performances for music enthusiasts. Over the years, other well-known acts such as the Beach Boys, Judy Collins, James Taylor, Willie Nelson, Phish and the Metropolitan Opera have performed at Waterloo.

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“Music truly brings people together,” said Mark Clifford, Musician Coordinator for the Highlands Festival. “We believe we have curated a fantastic weekend of performers that will offer a terrific blend of an eclectic array of musical genres that will please people of all ages.”

Tickets are now available online for the Highlands Festival at Waterloo. Tickets purchased in advance are $15 for one day; $25 for both days; and $25 for a campsite reservation. At the gate, tickets will be $25 for one day; $40 for both days; and $45 for a campsite if spots remain. The festival is open from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Sunday. To purchase tickets online and for more information about the festival, please visit the festival website at:

The current list of sponsors for the 3rd annual Highlands Festival at Waterloo are: Jersey Central Power & Light – A FirstEnergy Company, Sussex Honda, Intercar Inc. Sprinter Mercedes-Benz, Ce De Candy, Andrei Jackamets Photography, The Merrill G. & Emita E. Hastings Foundation, Morris County Municipals Utilities Authority, Gene Sheninger Border Collies, Sierra Club – Skylands Chapter, and Homegrown Radio NJ. The festival is also supported in part by a marketing grant from The New Jersey Department of State Division of Travel and Tourism.

About Musicians

Brown Rice Family roots are guided by a strong belief in the natural flow of things and provides a distinctively organic World Roots Music, which encompasses jazz stylings, afrobeat, reggae, rock, Latin rhythms, hip-hop and funk. The band formed while members were attending the City College of New York. It began with its founding members Yuichi and former member Joe Jang who both shared the belief that one should live in a healthy environment and eat naturally grown food. They came across brown rice, which is one of the healthiest foods to consume, which led them to envision molding a band deeply rooted in a strong foundation and one that makes music listeners feel alive, thus led to name the band Brown Rice Family, which has now grown to include eight members from around the globe. For more information:

Craig Thatcher Band has been entertaining audiences around the world with their exciting brand of blues/rock music since 1993 and is based out of Pennsylvania’s northeaster Lehigh Valley.  Along with Craig on guitar and vocals, the band features Wayde Leonard on bass and vocals, and Don Plowman on drums. They have released two CD’s – Because of You and Temptation that contain much of their own original material written by Craig. In 2005, Craig and James Supra released an acoustic blues CD called Hard Times that won several awards. The Craig Thatcher Band has appeared as an opening act for many major acts including Buddy Guy, Johnny Lang, Train, and Roomfull of Blues to name just a few. Since 2008, Craig has also been performing with Simone, daughter of world-renowned song stylist and pianist Nina Simone. For more information:

Garland Jeffreys is from Brooklyn and is of African American and Puerto Rican decent. Early on Jeffreys started out playing Manhattan nightclubs and he began to explore racially conscious themes in his work. Jeffreys founded Grinder’s Switch with musicians from the Woodstock-area in 1969 and then in 1973, Jeffreys released his first solo album entitle Garland Jeffreys. His song “Wild in the Streets,” written after hearing about a pre-teen rape and murder in the Bronx has become a popular anthem for the skate community and covered by a number of other musicians. He went on to release five albums in five years and then took a long hiatus, after which he released Don’t Call Me Buckwheat, which he devoted to the complexities of race in America. Jeffreys has been featured in the documentary The Soul of a Man and has performed with other entertainers such as Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band. For more information:

Hub Hollow members from Peapack, NJ have been playing together for 20 years. Their beautifully blended vocals and intricate melodies reflect a life of creating music together. Hub Hollow was officially created eight years ago, crcating a loyal fan-base on the strength of their unique versions of traditional bluegrass tunes and warm and inviting original material. The band consists of Jill Turpin on vocals, Jason Frigerio on mandolin and vocals, John Turpin on guitar and vocals, Tim Ryan on bass and vocals, and Daniella Fishetti on fiddle. For more information:

Nadïne LaFond returns to the stage at Waterloo, having performed for our festival last year. LaFond was raised in New Jersey and her Haitian roots influence her music. Throughout her life she was immersed in multicultural music and fell in love with jazz and blues, which inspired her to experiment with creating her own music. Nadïne has performed as a member of, co-songwriter and vocalist in multiple bands before shifting focus to working on her first solo album. Her fearless voice, which comes from her many years as a jazz vocalist then back up and lead singer in a Pan African ensemble, rock/funk group and jam bands, coupled with her stage presence, allows her to connect with her audiences when she performs. For more information:


Occidental Gypsy plays an exhilarating blend of gypsy swing, jazz and world music that entraptures the listener with a lightning fast, complex acoustic sound, rounded by sultry smooth vocals reminiscent of the first era of swing. Nationally recognized Occidental Gypsy plays a dynamc, multi-genre mix of original vocal and instrumental pieces, as well as notable covers like a ‘gypsyfied’ take on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” The Boston Globe has named them a “Best Bet for Weekend Entertainment,” and musician David Bromberg said of the group, “great singing, fantastic guitar and violin work, with high energy originals that leave the crowd crazy. An awesome band.” The band has shared the stage with greats like Rikki Lee Jones, Jorma Kaukenen, Stanley Jordan, Joe Sample, Tony Rice, and David Bromberg. Band members have also participated in side projects that have brought them around the world alongside legends, like Eli Bishop, who has toured with Wynton Marsalies and regularly performs at Jazz at Lincoln Center. For more information:


About New Jersey Highlands Coalition

The New Jersey Highlands Coalition hosts the Highlands Festival to raise awareness about the natural resources of the NJ Highlands region, to promote the missions of the NJ Highlands Coalition’s 80+ nonprofit member organizations, and to fund the Small Grants Program which supports local grassroots organizations.  As a nonprofit organization in Boonton, New Jersey, the New Jersey Highlands Coalition works to protect, restore, and enhance the water and other natural and cultural resources of New Jersey's Highlands, now and for the future.  The Coalition serves eighty-eight municipalities in Bergen, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties that are protected under the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act in addition to the 5.4 million state residents who depend on the Highlands for drinking water.  For more information on the NJ Highlands Coalition or to become a member, please visit the organization’s website:

Event calendar
Tuesday, Jul 17, 2018


THE HIGH DIVERS @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

Lindsey Stirling + Evanescence @ BB&T Pavilion, Camden - 7:00pm

YANNI 25: ACROPOLIS ANNIVERSARY CONCERT @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:00pm

The Pierce Sessions @ Pierce Memorial Presbyterian Church, Farmingdale - 7:30pm

THE MAVERICKS @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm


Chapter Two @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 8:00pm

The 1940s Cabaret @ Emlen Physick Estate, Cape May - 7:00pm


A Bag of Marbles @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 7:00pm

Ben-Gurion Epilogue @ Jewish Heritage Museum, Freehold - 7:00pm

The Wedding Plan @ Monroe Senior Center, Monroe - 7:00pm

DESPICABLE ME 3 @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 10:30am and 7:00pm

View all events


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