Arts & Culture Calendar / Events Community Maplewood Millburn South Orange

Maplewoodstock 2017: Los Lobos, Beer Garden, Kids’ Fun — and Sign Language Interpretation

It’s hard to believe this weekend will mark the 14th year of the Maplewoodstock Music and Arts Festival. This free, two-day live music and arts event is a don’t-miss on the SOMA social calendar. There’s something fun for everyone, as families, friends and neighbors spread out blankets and set up chairs and tents, settling in for a relaxing, exhilarating and community-bonding experience.

The festival runs on Saturday, July 8 and Sunday, July 9 from noon until 10 p.m. each day. This year’s Saturday night headliner is none other than the legendary Los Lobos, one of 24 different bands in the line up.. Grown-ups, make sure to visit the Beer Garden, the arts and crafts vendors and the Food Court. Young ones can while away the hours visiting the KidsZone.

New this year: the festival will offer sign language interpreters for deaf and hard of hearing attendees. Read more here.

A friendly reminder: good neighbors clean up after themselves, making the next day’s job a little less overwhelming for the fine employees of the Department of Public Works.

The folks on the Maplewoodstock committee explain it all for you below. Check the website for the latest information and full schedules. See you there!

Los Lobos (Maplewoodstock)

The 14th Annual Maplewoodstock Music and Arts Festival will be held on Saturday, July 8, and Sunday, July 9, 2017, 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).

Each day 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 over 100+ applicants who span from Essex County, NJ, to Essex, England. Our basis is giving voice to local and regional talent, while lending our stage to a few of those 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 the thrill of an internationally touring Headliner.


Saturday’s Headliner is the legendary Los Lobos. Los Lobos’s dynamic songwriting, deeply poetic lyrics, thoughtful romantic and spiritual themes, and eclectic style are a uniquely American, in the rich literary tradition of legendary authors John Steinbeck and William Faulkner. Over 30 years after Los Lobos’ major label breakthrough How Will The Wolf Survive? — their 1984 album that ranks #30 on Rolling Stones list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s – the band is surviving quite well and still jamming with the same raw intensity as they had when they began in that East L.A. garage in 1973.

Sunday’s show will feature The Hip Abduction and then close with Headline Act Ruthie Foster.

Ruthie Foster (based in Austin, TX) has described her live shows as “hallelujah time” and a mix of as “some blues, some folk, some soul, some rock, some gospel.” Rolling Stone magazine has written that she is “pure magic to watch and hear.”

The Hip Abduction blends indie pop, world pop, and club music into a highly emotive and roots driven sound. Their latest album, Gold Under the Glow, was recorded in Nashville with producer Dabney Morris and incorporates synth-pop teeth into the band’s global foundation and summery vibe.

A total of 24 bands will perform over the two-day festival. In addition to the music, there will be local arts and craft vendors, who bring unique offerings of handcrafted goods. It’s 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 chicken fingers and tacos to lobster rolls and gluten free cupcakes — 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.


“Our goal is to put on the best possible free music and art festival that we can – one with deep roots in the Maplewood community,” says Maplewoodstock Chairperson Drew Dix. “We love seeing old friends and neighbors – and new friends! – relaxing on their blankets and lawn chairs, enjoying their picnic baskets, and packing the hillside park for a family-friendly weekend of music, art, food, and the best of the Maplewood community.”

A full line-up of band bios, directions, and real-time updates can be found on the website.

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