The Hoboken Fall Arts and Music Festival kicks off its 19th year on Sept. 30 along Washington Street from Seventh Street to Observer Highway. Headliners for the festival were announced on Wednesday and include The Push Stars, The Sensational Soul Cruisers, The New Loretta Review, and more.
The festival, held in the spring and fall, generally brings in 30 to 40,000 people in the fall and even more in the spring, plus 350-400 vendors and an enormous pool of talent. The event is co-sponsored by the Hoboken Reporter.
In addition to the musical acts, which range from national to local and major labels to indie, the festival attracts artists from all walks of life. Previous years have filled the vendor booths with never-before-seen products, paintings, and crafts alongside a wide array of foods and local businesses.
“[Each year] I think, ‘How come I’ve never seen this before?’” – Geri Fallo, Director of Hoboken Cultural Affairs
“I often think ‘How much more new could possibly be out there?’ and I am always amazed,” Fallo said. “[Each year] I think, how come I’ve never seen this before?”
Besides the newcomers, repeat vendors that have garnered attention from previous years have rebooked as well, like Spices and Tease, which was a big hit at the last festival.
The Push Stars will be one of the headliners this year, having performed only on the side stages in previous years. The Push Stars are a nationally recognized rock band who have toured with Matchbox Twenty, sold out Maxwell’s, and had numerous singles featured in television and film.
Songs by The Push Stars can be found on movie soundtracks such as “There’s Something About Mary,” “The Devil Wears Prada,” and “Me, Myself and Irene.”
Dan McLoughlin, a founding member of The Push Stars, is a long-time Hoboken resident and owner of Garden Street Music, a local recording studio and performing arts school. McLoughlin is not only eager to perform, but also thankful he has been able to pass the torch to the students he has both taught and produced, some of whom will begin playing the festival themselves. McLoughlin has lived in Woodstock, Los Angeles, Boston and many other towns, but moved to Hoboken 10 years ago.
“Hoboken is my home,” McLoughlin said Wednesday. “There is a great group of artists and musicians hiding in the rocks here. I am always pleasantly surprised to run into people here that I did a gig with twenty years ago.”
Also on the ticket are The Sensational Soul Cruisers, bringing Hoboken the sounds of classic Motown and soul. Horn player J.T. Bowen was a member of the Clarence Clemons (Bruce Springsteen’s long time tenor sax player) solo project. The 11-man band, fronted by four harmonious vocalists, has performed at prestigious venues like Radio City Music Hall, The Whitney, and The South Street Seaport.
New York performance artist Tammy Faye Starlite is scheduled to team up with The Lonesome Prairie Dogs to pay an alt-country slash rock-n-roll tribute to Loretta Lynn in The New Loretta Revue.
More than music
Having 400 spaces to offer vendors brings an eclectic mix of crafts, paintings, sculptures, jewelry, household products and more. Geri Fallo explained that each year seems to bring in new trends.
“This year’s trend is bath products and salts,” Fallo said. “I have also seen a lot of wrist cuffs in all shapes and sizes. I’ll see something, like these new delicate leg adornments, and think it is unusual. Then suddenly, two more people are making them and I realize it’s a trend for the year.”
Fallo also noted how resourceful some of the artists are in this economy, using unusual items to make a living, like guitar strings.
Many talented artists cross the water from NYC to showcase their products at the festival. One in particular, Jason Gluskin, caught the eye of Hoboken Cultural Affairs at a previous year’s festival, and Cultural Affairs requested that a poster be made of his artwork, to which he obliged.
Crafters will be displayed throughout the festival, while fine art will be displayed between Second and Third streets and between Fifth and Sixth streets on the west side.
The festival will also offer children activities like rides and face painting on Third Street while model cars can be found on First Street between Washington and Bloomfield. As always, international cuisine will tempt patrons’ palates.
Home grown acts will be featured
Aside from the headlining acts and craft vendors from all over, there is a local camaraderie at the festival brought on by NJ based musicians, local businesses, and resident artists. This year’s home grown musical acts include Hello Radio, Goodbye Friday, Silver Plane Crucifix, Gene D Plumber and Megan Riley (Riley is a Memphis native who now lives in Montclair).
For the full festival schedule, see sidebar.
Amanda Palasciano may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(updated) FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
Observer Highway Stage:
Noon - TBA
12:45 p.m. - Hello Radio
1:30 p.m. - The New Loretta Revue with The Lonesome Prairie Dogs featuring Tammy Faye Starlite, Lenny Kaye (from Patti Smith's Band) & Joe McGinty
2:30 p.m. - Megan Reilly
3:30 p.m. - The Push Stars
4:20 p.m. - Maddog Mattern (Comedy)
4:45 p.m. - The Sensational Soul Cruisers
Third Street Stage:
Noon - Polka Dot
1 p.m. - Garden Street Dance
1:30 p.m. - Preschool of Rock
2:15 p.m. - Polka Dot
3 p.m. - Preschool of Rock
4 p.m. - Fuzzy Lemons
5:15 p.m. - Little Club Heads
Sixth Street Stage:
12:30 p.m. - Hoboken School of Music
12:55 p.m. - Hanna Valente
1:20 p.m. - WIO
1:40 p.m. - Maddog Mattern (Comedy)
2 p.m. - Gene D Plumber
2:45 p.m. - Silver Plane Crucifix
3:30 p.m. - Good by Friday
4:15 p.m. - TBA
5 p.m. - Danny Matos y Son Candela