Sea Hear Now:
Sustainable Music Festival
Sea Hear Now is a top-sustainable music festival on the East Coast. The concerts, art, and events rock on the beach and along the boardwalk while being planet friendly. Sea Hear Now connects the community and sustainability through food, drinks, nonprofits, art, and surfing.
A sustainable and oceanfront music festival awaits when roaming Cookman avenue and walking along the boardwalk’s roof-top restaurants. Sea Hear Now, a music festival on the Jersey Shore, had its 4th anniversary this year. In 2018, the festival won singer-songwriter Jack Johnson’s “All At Once Sustainability Award” for U.S. festivals. Asbury Park is a historical town known for beach tourism. The unique casino, carousel, and concert hall on the boardwalk are designed by the same architects of Grand Central Station. The showcase of music, arts, and the ocean has attracted over 30,000 people down the shore.
The festival was founded and produced by Danny Clinch, a top rock photographer from New Jersey. Clinch’s art gallery Transparent Clinch Gallery supports the event with a tent displaying the performers’ art and local art. His experience in the music field provided Sea Hear Now headliners like Stevie Nicks, Pearl Jam, and Green Day.
Green Living products: Don’t forget your fanny pack to carry your wallet, keys, and phone. This susty hip accessory will bring color to your outfit.
Sea Hear Now leads competing local festivals in sustainability. Sea Hear Now was able to host 30,000 people with efficient waste management systems, nonprofit exposure, and local community support to protect the planet. In 2018, the festival collected nearly 12 tons of recycling, plastic bottle use was reduced by nearly 36 thousand bottles thanks to hydrating stations placed strategically throughout the boardwalk, and over 500 fans chose eco-friendly transportation by opting to bicycle to the festival instead of traveling by car.
Let’s learn more about Sea Hear Now’s sustainability efforts at the Jersey Shore.
Reduce, reuse, recycle! Sea Hear Now partnered with TURN Systems to rid the planet of single-use plastics. TURN is the world’s leading reusable cup for events and business. Drinks were served in reusable cups and returned to TURN collection bins around the festival. Reusable cups at an oceanfront location prevent plastic waste from entering the ocean. Besides freshly made cocktails, even water is served in aluminum cans – which are endlessly recyclable.
Plus, it pushes other large events to follow their sustainable leadership!
Restaurants served up hometown favorites. From Surf Taco to Local BBQ, Jersey Shore locals were happy to have small businesses at the festival. Shop local to support the local economy, food production, and families. There were vegan and vegetarian food options – also a sustainable food choice. This festival demonstrates east coast regional cuisines, businesses, and culture working together to support the communities and help the ocean.
Green living products: Going for the comfy, cute look, with this cropped tank, in the “local summer” of September is perfect for this all-day festival.
The art at Sea Hear Now displays sea life and ocean appreciation. Jellyfish swing overhead in colorful streams. On the sand, painted surfboards read “Sea Hear now” with a big line for photo opportunities. Artists had large standing and overhead displays of seascapes, abstracts, and ocean love.
As mentioned, the Transparent Clinch’s Gallery hosts a circus tent of rock art. From Green Day’s childhood doodles to a bathtub from Cage the Elephant’s, all the musicians performing display their art. And, of course, a wall dedicated to the local legend Bruce Springsteen himself.
The empty carousel house on the south side of the boardwalk is a little bit of a walk from the main festival area. The normally closed carousel house was now opened to showcase art painted on the walls, art you could stand in, skateboards, and more. As a local, I appreciate the art installations in the old carousel house. This historic landmark now remains barren daily but used to attract thousands. Utilizing the space again as an attraction of creative arts is a heartwarming nod to the town.
Surfing events are held on the beach while musicians play on four stages throughout the venue. This year, 2022, the waves did not participate with an excited audience. The waves were flat and small. Surfers were pulled into waves by jet skis.
The surf competition is an opportunity for local and famous surfers to do their thing. The competition highlights young New Jersey and East Coast surfers. Sea Hear Now provides a platform for young surfers to be given exposure and take part in the community for shredding it up. Also, the sport automatically comes with support for ocean conversation and awareness.
Green living products: Pick a plastic-free scrunchie to keep your hair out of your face & match the vibe.
The Surfrider Foundation of the Jersey Shore is well-known nonprofit protecting oceans and beaches. At Sea Hear Now, Surfrider offers free t-shirts in exchange for collecting recycling. They provide you with a recyclable trash bag throughout the venue. If you see someone in the crowd with an aluminum can, you can collect it towards your free t-shirt! Once your bag is full, you get the Surfrider t-shirt which includes the lineup and one of the best designs at the festival.
Recycling gets competitive here. You see recycling collectors making their way through the crowd to grab any used cans. This is a brilliant and creative way to stay on top of waste management with volunteers.
Green living products: Surfrider foundation has free water stations to fill up your hydro flask, reusable water bottle! Stay hydrated and prevent waste.
There are various nonprofits also represented throughout the festival. Asbury Park Music Foundation has had a tent in the past. They have provided programs to under-resourced youth for ten years. Catsbury Park is a nonprofit cat café and adoption lounge. Here you can enjoy a café while also looking a furry friend to adopt. Bringing these normally local nonprofits to a crowd of 30,000 supports their mission to better the community.
Overall, Sea Hear Now is a place that loves sustainability, ocean, music, and the local community. Compared to other festivals in the area, Sea Hear Now is a top leader in waste management and conscious efforts to support the oceanfront location and neighborhood. Not to mention the rockin’ lineup.