Shoreworld: New Heights Festival This Weekend; The Backyard Sessions At The Saint

New Heights Festival Takes Over Seaside Heights On Sand, Land And Sea

When it comes to unique festival approaches that work, the folks over at NHF are among the leading innovators in New Jersey and beyond. They’ve figured out a way to bring multiple projects together in one concentrated area while offering a myriad of options at absolute best possible cost to the attendee. That cost for something like this? It is absolutely free.

This weekend, September 13-15, Seaside Heights’ North Beach and boardwalk will be home to the first annual New Heights Festival. This free admission, three-day event celebrates Seaside Heights’ centennial anniversary with action sports and thrilling events on earth, sand and sea, and as stated earlier, all NHF events are free to attend.

Seaside Heights is a tough little town. Since its incorporation in 1913, it has weathered bizarre cultural and economic changes, terse political battles, MTV’s smash hit “Jersey Shore,” and most recently, Hurricane Sandy. But the town has survived, righting itself through community moxie and veering back on track in time to maintain their rich and illustrious history as one of the top vacation destinations in the Tri-State Area.

The New Heights Festival is here to trumpet Seaside’s triumphant birthday. The action kicks off this Friday, September 13, on the beach in front of the Aztec Hotel and newly renovated Casino Pier. The festival launches with a beach bonfire and live reggae music by Jersey’s own P-Dub as a full fireworks display takes place. Saturday and Sunday are packed with a myriad of events spanning the spectrum of interests, offering something for everyone.

As Seaside Heights reclaims its strength on the New Jersey coastline, the town wants to give something back to the Garden State stalwarts that had kept coming back even when the chips were down. This is the real Seaside Heights, not that tv show image of dysfunctional mayhem.

With more than 15 events within the festival on all forms of terrain, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in their favorite activity and experience sights and sounds rarely offered by other festivals. But that’s the beautiful point I want to make about this event. It allows you, the attendee, the freeform chance to get involved in original actions that may be something you already love or are looking to experience for the very first time, and that is an exciting adventure. And because it’s all in one primary area, there are no long walks or drives to contend with where you end up missing things because it was on the other end of the boardwalk.

New Heights Festival also explores the sea. Water events include surf and stand-up paddle (SUP) lessons, a nighttime tow-at surf contest on Saturday with a cash prize. Beachside events include Taste Of The Race: A Vintage Hotrod Demo featuring pre-war era Hotrod showcases on the beach, free monster truck rides, yoga and tai chi lessons (I’m going to get my chakras in line) and music featuring the gritty sounds of Badfish, A Tribute To Sublime, headlining the beach stage on Saturday night.

New Heights Festival land events include music, elite, amateur boxing matches, women and men’s bodybuilding exhibition, mixed martial arts clinics, BMX stunt shows, a skateboard stunt show and freestyle motocross stunt show, and if that isn’t enough, there is also a complete vendor village where you can buy neat stuff, and we all desperately want lots of stuff.

This is not some “hit you over the head with 50 bands and $10 bottles of water” kind of music festival. The thoughtful balance of action and entertainment that is offered for zero admission charge is what has been lost in festival shows for a long time around here.

However, that being said, there are bands, and they are some of the best in the state. NHF will have two large outdoor stages available for the weekend, including On The Beach, north of Casino Pier, as well as North Stage, which is located near the boardwalk between Sampson & Carteret streets. It’s great to note that several performers slated for this festival have been reviewed enthusiastically here in the Shoreworld.

Performing bands this weekend includes Badfish, A Tribute To Sublime, P-Dub, Pasadena, Lower The Veil, End Of An Era, Out For More, Vextion, New Theory, Armistead, EdTang & The Chops, This Time Counts, Love Electric, Matt Wade, Joey Evans, the Bumpin’ Uglies and more.

The festival has a great lineup of media partners such as WRAT, WDHA, WJRZ and yes, The Aquarian Weekly. Come join us for the weekend that can’t be beat anywhere on the East Coast. For a complete lineup of festival activities, visit or email the organizers over at


George Wirth, Ken Shane, Rick Barry, Keith Monacchio And Arlan Feiles – The Backyard Sessions Wander Over To Main St. – Sept. 15 At The Saint

Sometimes the greatest ideas spring from the simplest moments in time. When Ken Shane and his merry band of cohorts (George Wirth, Rick Barry, Keith Monacchio and Arlan Feiles) came up with their musical menagerie, they were simply sitting out in George Wirth’s backyard down in Ocean County, trading musical ideas and enjoying what can only be described as “an intimate gathering of backyard friends.”

George and Brenda Wirth are well known for their house concerts and backyard pickin’ sessions. I’ve been to a couple, and they’re a welcome break from the bar scene mentality, giving many a chance to express themselves in a judgment-free zone located far outside the rigors and glitz of the traditional stage. Plus, they have the most amazing meatballs on the planet. Twilight campfires, rustic backdrops and backyard gardens replace bright lights, PA thunder and set times. Here you can listen, here you can participate. And that’s exactly what went down some three years ago.

It was five friends, tuned in and trading off songs in the backyard on a sunny afternoon, and they knew they wanted to continue this, to try to reanimate this magical feeling elsewhere. However, as with most things in life, everyday hustle and bustle gets in the way. Schedules take precedence, responsibilities rear their ugly heads and singer-songwriter Ken Shane even moved all the way to Rhode Island.

But the guitars have aligned, ideas have resurfaced, duties have been put to rest, and the furious five have worked it out for this weekend performance at The Saint. As one who has seen each of these artists on an individual basis and have had the chance to be on stages with a couple of them, I know this will be a magical night. To me, this is more than just five guys waiting for their turn in the spotlight; this is some of the best New Jersey songwriters coming together because they enjoy it and couldn’t picture themselves doing anything other than creating music. I dub them, the “Traveling Asbury’s.”

You can see this group of merrymakers starting at 7 p.m. on Sept. 15, only at The Saint in Asbury Park.

For more information, head over to the Facebook event page at