Danny Clinch knocked our socks off. As always.
Clinch masterminded the inaugural Sea Hear Now Festival in Asbury Park in the last weekend in September. The rockstar photographer was the driving force behind the festival, and anybody who’s remotely familiar with his work knows he doesn’t half-ass his projects. Sea Hear Now was another fine example of that.
Sea Hear Now took over Asbury Park on September 29th and 30th with music, art, food, surfing, and more. There was so much going on and it overwhelmed the senses in the best way possible. You could eat a massive shaved ice from Betty’s Ice Box with your toes in the sand while listening to Blondie and watching the surfers. That’s certainly not something you get to do every day. It’s easy for festivals to become disorganized and hectic in the worst way possible, and SHN was anything but that. The walks between the three stages were minimal, there was lots of access to a variety of food and drink, and festival workers were helpful and were thrilled to be there like the rest of us.
The largest component of the festival was the impressive lineup of musicians. Between Jack Johnson, Social Distortion, The English Beat, Twin Peaks, and more, the festival boasted a variety of musicians from various genres and levels of experience. Each set was incredible in its own way and festival goers certainly found a few new bands to enjoy.
The highlight of the festival occurred during Social Distortion’s set on Sunday. A few songs into the set, the California punk band was joined by a special guest—Bruce Springsteen. Saying that the crowd went wild is an understatement. In Asbury Park, Bruce Springsteen is nothing less than a God. Watching him perform a couple of songs with such an incredible band was an unreal experience and left everybody raving about it for days after.
Overall, Sea Hear Now’s first year was a massive success. The cohesiveness, variety, and organization were impeccable, and the musical lineup was impressive. Fortunately, SHN will be returning to Asbury Park next year on September 21-22 to rock the boardwalk again. It’s more than worth going to. And who knows, you might get another surprise appearance by The Boss.