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Belmar Launches Music & Arts Festival

By Gary Wien

(BELMAR, NJ) -- Despite being somewhat of a spur of the moment idea, Belmar's First Annual Music & Arts Festival was a smashing success. In fact, a certain town a few miles away that appears to be eliminating free music should pay attention. Belmar just might grab the mantle if the town decides to use its beach and boardwalk to lure the immense musical and arts talent in the area for free shows. Someone is bound to find a way to do it, why not Belmar?

The Pat Roddy Band had the honor of kicking off the festival as the sun was setting. With the band's music aimed at a huge crowd gathered on the beach, dozens of onlookers watched from behind the band as well. The site was pretty damn amazing in my opinion. There's nothing like being able to stare out at the beach and the horizon coming above the ocean while listening to a concert. Whether the crowd knew a festival was taking place or just happened to stumble upon it didn't matter, the gorgeous view and the sounds of the artists were enough to reel them in. While Pat is a bit of a local legend, tonight's set was something special as it gave the rare opportunity to hear a full set of his original songs.

Danny White and his band followed as darkness began to fall and more people gathered around. The night was constantly illuminated by camera phone flashes, which added to the concert appearance. Danny himself took a moment to shoot a picture of the crowd with his iPhone for Belmar's archives. In between playing tunes from his latest release, Danny thanked people like the Mayor and Belmar Tourism for helping to make the night possible. After Danny's set, students from his Beach Music Studios took the stage.

The town couldn't have asked for a better night for the festival. It would have been nice if they were able to lure a few artists to showcase their work, but as it was I was the lone soldier there hawking my books. Apparently the artist exhibits did attract several people as I was constantly asked where the artists were. Nevertheless, a bunch of people came to check out my books and even some people who had already purchased them came over to say hi. One person who stopped at my table was Cal Schwartz, a writer with who happens to be a fellow Rutgers sports fanatic. It was good to finally meet him in person after talking with him online for a while.

There's little doubt that the festival will return next year and with some advance promotion it just might turn into another can't miss event at the Shore.

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Event calendar
Friday, Jul 19, 2019



The Boy Band Project @ Avenel Performing Arts Center, Avenel - 8:00pm

KIDZ BOP World Tour 2019 @ BB&T Pavilion, Camden - 7:00pm

The National Theatre: Hamlet @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 7:00pm


Big Fish the Musical @ Barn Theatre, Montville - 7:30pm

Legally Blonde, the musical @ Hamilton Stage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 7:30pm

Ragtime, The Musical @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 8:00pm

Romeo & Juliet and Othello in Rep @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm

OCC Repertory Theatre Company Presents: Into the Woods @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 7:30pm

The Wake @ Premiere Stages at Kean University - Bauer Boucher Theatre Center, Union - 8:00pm

Luna The Play @ Luna Stage, West Orange - 11:00am


Billy Gardell @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm


Classic Film Series on 35mm: Forrest Gump @ Mainstage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 8:00pm


Disney's The Aristocats KIDS @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 8:00pm

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