With the announcement of the first "Sea Hear Now" festival, lots of people are buzzing over the prospect of a big festival coming to Asbury Park.


I am not one of them.

I guess it's a sign of getting old, but looking down the list of performers, I am familiar with a handful of them, and I would consider myself an actual fan of two - Incubus and Social Distortion. I've seen Incubus a bunch of times since around 2000, most recently last summer. I've never seen Social D, so that would be cool, but wading through a sea of humanity, spending hours in the sun sitting through bands I don't enjoy or even care about isn't worth it to me.

I've been to plenty of festivals in the past, seeing Ozzfest in 2000 (featuring Incubus!), and a bunch of Skate&Surfs during my college years. Even then, I was never a fan of just wandering around while bands I didn't like were playing, just to wait for the headliners.

As I was discussing this with some coworkers, the opinions were pretty much split. Some people were stoked for this show, others didn't care, and an interesting third option arose - free tickets. If I were given a free pass, would I go? I think it would entirely depend on who else was going, what group of friends I could meet up with. If I'm only there to see Incubus, but I wait until later in the day to show up, I'm going to be as far from the stage as I was when I saw them from the Lawn at the Arts Center.

A bunch of my friends have talked about going, so maybe this is a "me problem"...and don't get me wrong, I still love going to concerts, I love heading to Convention Hall or the Pony or the Arts Center or whatever. It's just the idea of full-day festivals, spending $100 for a General Admission ticket to see 20 bands I don't like waiting for one band I do that has no appeal.

What do you think? Am I being a grump, or are you on my side?

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