Dozens of new events added to the festival lineup, featuring the city’s own authors, rockers, jazz musicians, fashion designers, singer-songwriters, R&B and hip hop artists and many more.
A songwriter who learned his craft from his grandmother, Nina Simone, one of the world’s most iconic performers and activists. A jazz trio that keeps the music of 1920s New Orleans alive. And a dancer devoted to teaching the world how to do the Hustle.
These are just some of the scores of artists who make their creative home in Asbury Park, who will be showcased at more than a dozen new events added to the lineup for the inaugural North to Shore Festival weekend in Asbury Park on June 14-18. Each event will highlight the work of at least one, and often many, creatives who keep the city’s arts scene humming all year long. These performances and events, many of them free, are made possible by grants offered by the North to Shore Festival.
These performers will join the Festival’s previously announced global headliners — including Demi Lovato, Brian Fallon, Bill Nye, the B52’s, the Smithereens and more — in making the first North To Shore Festival weekend in Asbury Park the definitive celebration of the power of the performing arts and the creativity, diversity and innovation found in the Garden State.
Conceived by Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy, the North to Shore Festival will spotlight both the state’s cultural diversity and its technological innovation with three weekends of concerts, conversations, exhibits and more, one in each of three of the state’s most exciting cities: Atlantic City, Asbury Park and Newark.
NJPAC will produce this three-weekend extravaganza in collaboration with partners including Montclair Film, Newark International Film Festival, TechUnited/Propelify and MediaSense. Music and comedy programming will be produced in collaboration with a cohort of other presenters including SJ Presents, Madison Marquette, Live Nation, Platinum Productionsand Absolutely Live!
An extraordinarily diverse roster of artists from the city — from jazz musicians to fashion stylists to rockers — will be featured at Asbury Park’s festival events.
“Asbury Park is a hotbed of talented people creatively finding ways to do what they love,” says John Moor, Mayor of Asbury Park. “I can’t wait for people to come here in June to see not just the big, national acts, but some of the local talent that New Jersey has to offer. Asbury Park will be dancing, singing and telling stories at the North to Shore Festival next month.”
“A Jersey festival isn’t a Jersey festival unless it’s an authentic reflection of the artists who bring their creativity to work in this state 365 days a year,” says David Rodriguez, Executive Vice President and Executive Producer of NJPAC.
“We’re proud that this festival is a genuine microcosm of the special character of each of the cities that will be hosting this new celebration,” says Rodriguez.
Events produced by Asbury Park awardees held during the festival weekend include:
- Readings From Asbury Park (June 14, 7-9 pm, Asbury Park Historical Society/Stephen Crane House, 508 Fourth Ave.)
Contemporary city authors pay homage to Asbury-connected authors and poets of bygone eras including Stephen Crane, Margaret Widdemer, Lowell Thomas, Edna Woolman Chase, Rev. James F. Robinson, May Singhi Breen, Fred J. Cook and Mary Helen Peck Crane, in addition to sharing selections from their own works.
- Alexander Simone and Whodat? Live Crew (June 14, 7-10 pm, The Watermark, 800 Ocean Ave.)
Alexander Simone is a prolific artist, musician, songwriter and motivational speaker hailing from Asbury Park. The grandson of Nina Simone, he started composing at 14, creating music that celebrates everyday wonder and inspires listeners to cherish life and love. Joining him is Whodat? Live Crew, a league of extraordinary New Jersey musicians. FREE
- LGBTQ+ Singer/Songwriter Showcase (June 15, 5-9 pm, Georgie’s Bar, 810 Fifth Ave.)
Geena Buono, Shaune Pony Heath and Jared Milian, three of the best songwriters from Asbury’s LGBTQ+ community, perform as part of the city’s Pride celebration.
- Drag Show with Tastie! (June 15, 9 pm- 2 am, Georgie’s, 810 Fifth Ave.) Following the LGBTQ+ Singer Songwriter Showcase, stick around for one of Asbury Park’s favorite local drag queens, Tastie, at Asbury Park’s premier LGBTQ+ hangout.
- Joy Connection Project (June 15, 6-8 pm, Asbury Park Boardwalk/820 Ocean Av 820 Ocean Ave.)
An immersive, inclusive and experiential dance performance on the Asbury Park Boardwalk, presented by Blue Dot: Social & Community Wellness, dance with Jay and the Ocean Avenue Stompers. FREE
- The High Standards Trio (June 15, 6-9 pm, R Bar, 1114 Main Street)
The High Standards Trio — bass player Mike Noordzy, banjo player Chris Welcome and soprano saxophone player Jonathan Mortiz — take you on a journey back in time to New Orleans circa the 1920s and 1930s. FREE
- Demi Lovato LGBTQ After Party and Drag Show (June 16, 9 pm – 2 am, Georgie’s, 810 Fifth Ave.)
The unofficial Demi Lovato After Party is at Georgie’s! Just a short walk from the Stone Pony Summer Stage, stay “Cool for the Summer” and “Confident” at Georgie’s late night drag show, featuring Nikki Skye Blake.
- Suminagashi (Japanese Water Marbling) Workshop (June 16, 3-9 pm, Over the Moon Art Studios, 808 Springwood Ave.)
Learn the art of Suminagashi, an ancient Japanese art-making technique that involves floating ink on water to create intricate patterns at this class. 90-minute time commitment per participant. FREE
- Drag Queen Story Time with Miss Savannah Georgia & Pride Crafts (June 17, 11 am – 6 pm, Asbury Book Cooperative, 644A Cookman Ave.)
It’s a day of family fun at Asbury Book Collective celebrating Pride month. Kick off the day with a Drag Queen Story Time with Miss Savannah Georgia and donuts from Purple Glaze, followed by Pride-themed crafts for all ages. The day ends with a celebratory poetry reading! FREE
- Asbury Park/Neptune Juneteenth Celebration (June 17, 10 am – 5 pm, Springwood Avenue and Midtown’s Commons Parks)
Deejays, jazz and R&B bands, gospel and a cappella choirs, African drummers, youth rappers, dancers and even a drill team celebrate the Juneteenth holiday with an outdoor celebration. FREE
- The Symposium of Supervillainy (June 17, 2-8 pm, The Basement at Bond Street, 639 Cookman Ave.)
An immersive musical theater performance like no other, The Symposium of Supervillainy, featuring live music by Johnny Neutrino and The Order of the Crawling Hand, includes comedy, and variety entertainers as well as a supervillain costume contest and a scavenger hunt around Asbury Park.
- PF3 Studios Pop Up Shop (June 17, 5-9 pm, Tony LaSalle Gallery, 619 Cookman Ave.)
Stylist Tyshon Gosein and artist/gallerist Tony LaSalle will bring together two mediums of the art world: fashion and visual art. Paintings and clothes will be available at this pop-up shop.
- B52’s LGBTQ After Party, with All Night Karaoke (June 17, 9 pm – 2 am, Georgie’s, 810 Fifth Ave.)
Don’t be a rock lobster — after the B52’s concert, come sing your heart out at All Night Karaoke at one of the best LGBTQIA+ safe spaces, Georgie’s Bar!
- Dance Asbury Park: A Celebration of Movement (Saturday, June 17, 12 pm, LOCATION TBD)
The Asbury Park Technical Academy of Dance presents an outdoor afternoon of performances featuring student and professional dancers. FREE
- Drag Brunch Karaoke with Divinity Banks (June 18, 1-8 pm, Georgie’s, 810 Fifth Ave.)
Start your Sunday off right with one of Asbury Park’s local legends, Divinity Banks! This incredible queen will knock your socks off with her high-energy numbers, witty repartee and some good old-fashioned shade. Get ready for brunch realness, darling!
- Father’s Day Blues Jam (June 18, 1-5 pm, R Bar, 1114 Main Street)
Get a taste of Louisiana at R Bar’s Father’s Day Blues Jam featuring the legendary local blues singer and guitar player Al Holmes, drummer Alkhim Johnson and the Ocean Avenue Stompers. FREE
- Hip Hop in the Round (June 18, 12 pm, Boys and Girls Club Monmouth County, 1201 Monroe Ave.)
Presented by the Bruce Springsteen Archives & Center for American Music and the Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County, this celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip hop features conversation and music with several successful hip hop artists from Asbury Park. FREE
- Sunday on St. John’s (June 18, 2-5 pm, St. John’s Island Sunset Lake Park)
An afternoon of musical performances by popular New Jersey musicians, including Jackson Pines and The Mercury Brothers, in the intimate outdoor setting of St. John’s Island in Sunset Lake Park. FREE
- SoulFull Sunday (June 18, 4-8 pm, Over the Moon Art Studio, 808 Springwood Ave.)
Live music, spoken word performances and hands-on activities including drumming, artmaking and dance offered by the Zamir Ahsaad A. Dunbar Foundation and Yogi Vibezz. FREE
- Asbury Park Dance Festival Presents: Dance Is Life (June 18, 6-8 pm, Asbury Park Boardwalk Carousel Building)
Dance is Life offers instruction in dance — specifically, the hustle — to the public. Why the hustle? Hustle has a deep connection to civil rights, gay rights, women’s rights and American culture and offers a form of collective healing, transformation and celebration. Led by former Martha Graham Dance Company dancer and hustle evangelist Abdiel Jacobsen, this event offers participants the chance to experience this vibrant dance form themselves.
All events are subject to change. Check local listings.
Leadership support for North to Shore has been generously provided by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, New Jersey Travel and Tourism, NJM Insurance, Outfront, PSEG and RWJBarnabas Health.
United Airlines is the Official Airline Sponsor for the 2023 North to Shore Festival.
About the North to Shore Festival
The North to Shore Festival, launched in 2023, features all the talent, diversity, and creativity that New Jersey has to offer, packed into three extraordinary weekends of performances, screenings, parties and conversations in three of the state’s most iconic cities. Hosted by Atlantic City (June 4–11), Asbury Park (June 14–18), and Newark (June 21–25), the North To Shore Festival will bring together events at 50+ venues for an over-the-top showcase of Jersey excellence, aligned with Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy’s vision of a celebration worthy of the Garden State’s long legacy of innovation in the arts, film and technology. For the latest updates and new concert listings, visit northtoshore.com.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States. It is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey — where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. As New Jersey’s Town Square, NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the State’s and the world’s best artists, while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted 11 million visitors (including almost two million children) since opening its doors in 1997 and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents. Visit njpac.org for more information.