Asbury Park Gears Up for Bamboozle’s Return

What started as a weekend concert in Asbury Park nine years ago, has become a major rock extravaganza with national appeal.

Photo by Ronald Clairborne.

Much of the ongoing revitalization of Asbury Park has been about bringing back the past. In the case of Bamboozle, the town only had to go back 9 years.

The rock extravaganza began in 2003 as a weekend concert at the Stone Pony. When it returns to Asbury Park on May 18, 19 and 20, it will feature more than 100 performers, including headliners Skrillex, Foo Fighters and Jersey’s own Bon Jovi, scheduled as the closing act on Sunday night.

Bamboozle founder John D’Esposito, a New Jersey native, relocated the festival to the Meadowlands in 2006 to accommodate the growing crowds. Last year’s event drew approximately 90,000 to the Meadowlands; this year, an even larger turnout is expected to descend on Asbury Park over the three days.

“It feels almost like planning the Super Bowl,” says Ed Johnson, the town’s mayor. “There are so many different aspects that go into planning an event like this. It’s certainly a challenge to have that magnitude of people come to the area, but I’m confident and excited everything will turn out great.”

The rain-or-shine event is celebrating its 10th anniversary on seven stages, including the main stage on the beach, as well as stages along the boardwalk and inside Convention Hall and the Paramount Theatre. There also will be carnival rides and nightly fireworks, reinforcing the festival atmosphere, along with after party and beach bonfire performances.

Tickets are $65 to $75 for single-day admission and $190 for a three-day pass. Free off-site parking will be available at Monmouth Raceway with purchase of a shuttle pass. For more, visit

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