Get Ready for the First South By South Orange Festival, June 26-28

by The Village Green
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SOXSOThe first-ever South by South Orange festival (SOxSO) is coming to South Orange Village Center June 26-28.  This three day, jam-packed festival of arts, ideas and exploration will be the largest gathering of creative minds and performances in the region.  South Orange Trustee Stephen Schnall, the Event’s founder, feels that the festival’s theme should resonate with local residents perfectly.

“Creative Collisions is a natural theme for South Orange, where so many different types of people, ideas and sensibilities collide every day to make something incredibly wonderful,” he said. “We’re thrilled to feature the incredible creative talents that live and work here in South Orange, Maplewood and our surrounding population and I think people will be pleasantly surprised at just how impressive this community really is.”

For more about SOxSO and a full schedule, visit the website.

Quick Facts about SOxSO:

  • SOxSO begins on Friday, June 26 at 6 pm. with a Tech(ing) Ball, a cocktail party and three-floor extravaganza at SOPAC and will continue until 11 p.m. at multiple venues in the Village. See the Friday schedule here.
  • Saturday’s program begins at 10 a.m. and will end at 11 p.m. and will include theater performances, music, and sessions on sustainability, athletics and storytelling, and one featuring Marketplace’s David Brancaccio. The day will end in the gala “Collisions” concert at SOPAC. See the Saturday schedule here.
  • Sunday’s program will run from noon to 5:30 p.m. and will include music, arts, and sessions on Active Drones, the Notion of the Struggling Artist and Historic Preservation. See the Sunday schedule here.
  • Events will take place across five South Orange venues: SOPAC, Ricalton’s Village Tavern, Above Restaurant & Bar, Gaslight Brewery and Restaurant and Spiotta Park. Spiotta Park and Village Plaza will be the site of the Creative Midway on Saturday, an open-air carnival that allows visitors to experience paint ball art, a life drawing marathon, buskers and other unexpected creative delights.

Janine Buckner, Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and a lead coordinator for Seton Hall University’s involvement, said the project reflects a new level of engagement between the University and Village. “Seton Hall is engaged with South Orange as this is our home,” Buckner said. “The timing of the festival in the summer will allow Seton Hall community members to mingle and participate with the community-at-large in a fun and engaging atmosphere, opening doors for more conversations and collaborations between our communities. Service to the residential, professional and municipal communities of which we are a part is an important component of our work, and our participation together is an example of how this can take place anywhere in the world.”

A $25 wristband gives festival-goers access to more than 35 concerts, exhibitions, panels and performances over the three days.  Sessions are as diverse as the Neuro-Science of Poetry and Art, Active Drones, and How to Make Your Kids Your Favorite Dinner Partners.  Musical performances range from Alt Country to Indy Rock to Jazz and Blues.

Get your tickets and wristbands here.

On Saturday night on the SOPAC Main Stage, the featured musical experience of the festival, “the Causing Collisions Concert” will take the stage. Created and curated by noted musician and founder of the South Mountain International Blues Festival, Mike Griot, the concert is a never-before-seen-or-heard musical collision with internationally-acclaimed Griot delivering a mash up of rock, blues, pop and jazz featuring Grammy winner Will Calhoun from the legendary band “Living Colour.”

“SOxSO is the perfect venue for us to attempt Causing Collisions,” says Griot.  “I’ve gathered some of the best musicians in the region to jam together and see where the music takes us.”  The Causing Collisions concert is the only event on the SOxSO schedule which has a $15 premium charge for wristband holders.

In addition to festival access, SOxSO wristband wearers will receive discounts and specials at South Orange merchants including The Dancing Blender, Pandang, Above, Ashley Marketplace, Ariyoshi, Ricalton’s, Tito’s Burritos and the Leather Shop.

“If you spend five minutes on our website, you’ll understand what a phenomenal festival we’ve got planned,” says Schnall.  “We plan on growing this substantially and I encourage our community to join us as we launch something that South Orange and our region will be proud of.”

More information, a complete schedule and wristband sales are available at

South by South Orange is presented by the Village of South Orange, Seton Hall University, the South Orange Village Center Alliance, SOPAC and St. Barnabas Hospital.

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