‘South by South Orange’ Festival Launches This June

by The Village Green
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South Orange is getting a new festival, and it’s a doozy.

On Wednesday, South Orange Village and Seton Hall University announced the first-ever South by South Orange Festival — or SOxSO — to take place June 26-28, 2015.

The festival, featuring 12 creative and interactive sessions, 15 musical performances, and a “Creative Midway” of unique participatory happenings and community arts projects, is designed to exploit the astonishing variety of creative talents in, from and coming to South Orange.

South Orange Trustee Stephen Schnall, who has spearheaded the festival, was clearly energized and excited at its announcement on Wednesday, May 6 at Seton Hall University.

“I’m nervous because I really care about the Village of South Orange,” said Schnall. He explained that the idea for the festival — the inaugural year of which is being dubbed “Creative Collisions” — came from hearing Dean Michael Zavada of SHU’s College of Arts & Sciences explain the concept of STEAM, which is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) combined with Arts.

Schnall said that the idea of “collisions” was not the kind taken care of by Geico, “but the kind that this community embraces.” Schnall noted, “creative entrepreneurial people are coming [to South Orange]. How do we satisfy that population?” He said that the festival would include artists and coders working in tandem, fulfilling and exploring the concept of STEAM — as well as discussions, forums, performances, group art projects, networking and more.

Also attending the announcement were musician Mike Griot, a former long-term South Orange resident and festival participant, who explained that the “collisions” will also include varying musical styles and promised that this festival would be “not the normal experience,” and Will Calhoun, drummer for Living Colour, who expressed his excitement that Seton Hall was involved in the festival as it underscored the importance of education in creative life.

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.
  • Venues include the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) Main Stage and Loft, Above Restaurant and Bar, Gaslight Brewery and Restaurant, and Ricalton’s Village Tavern.
  • There will be a “Creative Midway” of Creative Arts Projects in Spiotta Park in the heart of the Village Center.
  • SOxSO will be partnering with local organizations to offer child care for Saturday’s events.
  • Restaurants and merchants will be offering discounts and specials to those wearing SOxSO wristbands. Stay tuned for the list!
  • The event will be accessed by the purchase of a wristband costing $25, but purchasers who act quickly can get an early bird discount ($20 cost). In addition, the first 100 registration will also receive a free commemorative tee shirt. The number of wristbands sold will be capped. A festival pass including the Saturday Premium Musical Events costs and additional $15. Buy passes here.

Find out the latest updates and announcement related to SOxSO at www.soxso.org.

Click on any image below to see a slideshow of photos from Wednesday’s announcement event.


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