The Wave Gathering Festival returns to Asbury Park on June 19-21, bringing nearly 200 artists from around the world to the city. NewJerseyStage.com continues a tradition started with AsburyMusic.com to provide a comprehensive preview of the festival with schedules, artist, and area information - including the ability to create your own customized schedules! To visit our preview, click here.
We caught up with Gordon Brown of All Hour Entertainment Group to talk about the festival, which he helped start four years ago along with Scott Stamper of The Saint.
One of the most exciting additions has to be the outdoor street festival, which will take place on Saturday. What can you tell me about the festival?
As a new twist on this year's event, we've gotten the green light to close down Cookman Ave on Sat June 20 with a free street festival and daytime mainstage. Val Emmich, Jillian Rhys, Status Green, Red Wanting Blue, Christine Martucci and Matt O' Ree will all be our hosts on the big stage.
There will also be vending and Miller Lite trucks selling beer in the street. It's really going to be something special this year, especially as the weather gets nice. There are actually huge banners hanging on Main St. right now advertising the event. I feel like putting one on my house :)
What are you looking forward to the most from this year's festival? Any artists you are excited to bring to Asbury Park?
Just like every year we are excited to turn people on to brand new artists from our area, as well as around the country and internationally as well. We have artists from Austrailia, London, Sweden and Japan this year.
To name a few of our featured artists: (Remember, there are over 180 performers so you can go to wavegathering.com and click on the "bands" tab to see the rest and visit their sites.)
STATUS GREEN (ASBURY PARK, NJ)
RED WANTING BLUE (COLUMBUS, OH)
ARI HEST (NYC)
EMMA SOPHINA (PERTH, AUSTRAILIA)
VAL EMMICH (JERSEY CITY, NJ)
APRIL SMITH & THE GREAT PICTURE SHOW (BROOKLYN,NY)
DIRTY SWEET (SAN DIEGO, CA)
OUTSIDE THE BOX (ASBURY PARK, NJ)
MADI DIAZ (NASHVILLE, TN)
THE QUEEN KILLING KINGS (NEW HAVEN, CT)
CHRIS AYER (NYC)
PANIC YEARS (PA)
ARLEN FEILES (GARWOOD, NJ)
LAST PERFECT THING (ASBURY PARK, NJ)
JILLIAN RHYS (LONG BRANCH, NJ)
RICK BARRY (ASBURY PARK, NJ)
LAURA WARSHAUER (RED BANK, NJ)
MIEKA PAULEY (BOSTON, MA)
JOANNA BURNS (HAZLET, NJ)
MIKE ERRICO (NYC)
CHRIS BATTEN & THE WOODS (NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ)
BARRY & THE PENETRATORS (ASBURY PARK, NJ)
THE BLOODSUGARS (NYC)
ANTHONY FIUMANO & THE MEDICINE CHEST (EAST BRUNSWICK,NJ)
GEORGE WIRTH (BRIELLE, NJ)
CHRISTINE MARTUCCI (FLEMINGTON, NJ)
ALEX BRUMEL & JANEL ELIZABETH (FREEHOLD, NJ)
THE MILWAUKEES (JERSEY CITY, NJ)
MAYBE PETE (EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ)
JERSEY JUNG (ASBURY PARK, NJ)
BRET MOSLEY (NYC)
THE AVIATION ORANGE (BROOKLYN, NY)
SCOTT LISS & THE SIXTY SIX (RED BANK, NJ)
CHRIS AYER (NYC)
KEITH KENNY (MONROE, NJ)
JOE HARVARD BAND (ASBURY PARK, NJ)
FRIENDS OF BILL WILSON (TOMS RIVER, NJ)
QUINCY MUMFORD (ASBURY PARK, NJ)
THE LIGHTS OUT (BOSTON, MA)
THE FAVE (HOBOKEN, NJ)
TUNNELS TO HOLLAND (NEW BRUNSWICK,NJ)
Will the music panels be back? If so, what are this year's panels and where will they be held?
Yes, the list of industry panels and workshops this year will highlight all the topics of the modern music industry including A&R, Management, Songwriting, Production, Marketing, Press and Radio. Many key figures will be appearing to answer questions and tell their stories and share their experiences. There will also be artist interviews. Panels will be on Saturday from 6 - 9pm and then on Sunday starting at 3pm and going throughout the day. Sunday is more of a workshop portion with the Tom Dowd movie being shown and then a producer's panel, A Writers In Progress show, both at The Showroom, as well as a Songwriter's By The Sea workshop at Tim Mcloone's Supper club. People can sign up for them as they come in to wristband registration at 629 Cookman Avenue. Lineups for all panels will be announced shortly.
The website mentions a list of restaurants with the line "dine in these participating restaurants" -- will there be Wave Gathering specials at these establishments?
Each restaurant will have the choice to do anything they would like to do. We encourage them to entice attendees with festival specials all weekend.
There are a number of new venues for this year's festival, are you trying to really spread the music throughout the town?
Well that truly is the goal … live music everywhere. The new businesses that have taken a chance in this economy can now experience having some live music in their environment and getting a real taste of our passionate music community.
Will there be a jitney or shuttle bus again this year to aid people from one side of town to another?
Yes, there will be different options of transportation that are being set up as we speak. You will see all sorts of methods. Along with taxis, there will be some carts and bikes this year.
Speaking of venues, I noticed that the Live Nation clubs were pulled from the list of venues and aren't currently on the schedule. Is there still a chance that venues like the Stone Pony, Wonder Bar, Convention Hall, and Paramount Theatre will be part of the Wave? If not, is it disappointing to you that these venues do not want to be part of a city-wide festival?
Actually, they were never on the schedule. Our list of venues was only announced a few weeks ago. Each year, we are open arms to everyone and will continue to be. We've used those venues for the past three years since the inception of the festival, and way before Live Nation took them over. We are really glad that they have booked some great shows that seem to go along with the whole concept of the festival. We like the fact of each venue knowing what they want and how to get it. That's part of our concept here. Those venues already had some great acts booked on our festival dates so there was no reason to add to what they already had. We always look forward to working with their amazing staffs and professionalism. They continue to be some of our favorite people in town. If it wasn't for Madison Marquette, there would be no boardwalk with venues that are hosting Wave Gathering shows. We are so thankful for everything that they've done for the city. Our invite will still be out there if they decide to jump on board last minute.
Finally, this has been a very difficult year economically for many festivals. Some have had to scale back or even sit out this year with the goal of returning next year. Are you pleased with the way things turned out for you this year? Do you foresee the festival getting even bigger next year or to you hope it stays around a certain size?
We'll be pleased to watch all the musicians come back together and enjoy each other's company for a few days on June 19, 20 & 21. Seeing that happen gives us that great rewarding feeling each year. It seems as if Wave Gathering is starting to have a mind of it's own. We've built a foundation with it. As it coincides and documents the rebirth of Asbury Park each year, new possibilities continue to come our way. New venues pop up, new bands get launched, new ideas on how to do things get thrown into the mix, new and improved ways to do things. This year, Ruthanne Harrison (Rue Events) came on board to handle the new growth spurts and take charge of our promotion and sponsorship.
Since we've handled that ourselves for the past few years we figured it was time to let the professionals step in. She has done an outstanding job so far and has some very big plans on seeing this grow. We look forward to another tremendous and inspiring event for our music community.
Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station The Penguin Rocks. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.