Arts & Culture Maplewood

Josh Ritter and Third World to Headline Maplewoodstock July 14 & 15

From the organizers of Maplewoodstock:

The 15th Annual Maplewoodstock Music and Arts Festival will be held on Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15, 2018, from noon until 10:00 pm each day.   This free, two-day, live music and arts event will be held at Memorial Park, Maplewood, NJ, (160 Dunnell Rd, Maplewood, NJ, 07040 — directly opposite Maplewood’s NJ Transit train station).

Saturday’s Headliner is Third World. Sunday’s Headliner is Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band.

Third World is one of the longest-lived reggae bands of all time — informed and influenced by funk, soul, and disco. They have toured the world and bring their inclusive sound to our stage. See more here.

Sunday’s Headliner Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band travels in the channels of the Americana singer-songwriter tradition. His 2017 album – The Gathering – has been described as an amalgam of country, gospel, and soul. See more about Josh at joshritter.com.

Saturday’s show will also feature Hopewell, NJ, native Danielia Cotton. Danielia pulls inspiration from classic Motown as well as Sly and the Family Stone and presents strikingly optimistic message from abominable lows. She has opened for Buddy Guy, Derek Trucks, and Bon Jovi.

And, Sunday’s show will feature The Suffers. Spin magazine has described them as “a ten-piece soul collective that steeps their tracks in jazzy history with a modern twist. They’re the sort of neo-retro group you never knew music was so badly missing.”

“We aim to put on the best possible free music and art festival that we can – one with deep roots in the Maplewood community,” says volunteer Maplewoodstock Festival Chairperson Drew Dix. “We are nine of your friends and neighbors who volunteer all year long to put this festival together. We love seeing old friends and making new ones out enjoying the gorgeous weekend. So, come relax on your blankets and lawn chairs, bring a picnic basket, and enjoy a family-friendly weekend of music, art, food, and the best of the Maplewood community.”

Each day of the festival features nearly a dozen bands who represent a stylistically-wide variety of rock, pop, soul, R&B, funk, folk, reggae and world beat. These bands are selected from a record-high 109 applicants in 2018 who radiate from Maplewood/South Orange to other musical communities like Montclair, New Brunswick, Red Bank, and Brooklyn. The festival gives voice to local and regional talent, while lending its stage to a few artists a bit further away who can grace our hillside with their distinct sounds. And, as we have come to appreciate, each day is capped with an internationally touring Featured and Headline act.

A total of 23 bands will perform over the two-day festival. In addition to the music, there will be local arts and crafts vendors, who bring unique offerings of handcrafted goods, like artwork, clothing, jewelry, – a rare find of arts and crafts amid such a diverse musical program.

In addition to the music and arts vendors, the Maplewoodstock festival will offer a food court – a cornucopia of options for the whole family from burgers to tacos, from lobster rolls to Thai food, from fresh squeezed lemonade to jerk chicken — a beer garden for kid-dodging parents, and a large KidZone with games, inflatable rides, crafts, and more for our youngest attendees and their minders.

The town of Maplewood also offers a senior-friendly tent for those long-time citizens who want to come out, enjoy the youthful energy, sit in the shade, and enjoy a meal from our food vendors that can be delivered from volunteers run by the Age Friendly Committee for Maplewood and South Orange.   (For more information, visit www.somatwotownsforallages.org).

For those hearing-impaired, we also offer (for the second year) our volunteer-organized sign language interpretation for several hours each day (typically 5 pm until closing). While we cannot offer reserved seating space, if you are seeking sign language interpretation, you should aim to situate yourself at “House Right” – about 20 feet from the right-front corner of the stage. We will mark the area with “Deaf Area” signs and ask attendees to self-police and be gracious and neighborly in sharing/ceding space for those wanting to view the sign language interpreters.

Volunteer Maplewoodstock Festival Chairperson Drew Dix also added, “The last few years, we’ve almost become the victims of our own success, with very large crowds and some confusion about when and where tents and canopies can be erected. The town of Maplewood will be clarifying their rules on this, and we will be publicizing those rules on our website in the coming weeks so that all our attendees are clearly informed about what to expect.”

A full line-up of band bios, directions, and real-time updates can be found on the maplewoodstock.com website and Facebook and Twitter accounts also listed on the website.

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