Asbury Park Surf Music Festival Grows

August 21, 2017
Print Friendly

Each year the Asbury Park Surf Music Festival features an array of bands, such as The Sharkskins. Photo courtesy of the Surf Music Festival

By Mary Ann Bourbeau |

ASBURY PARK – The Asbury Park Surf Music Festival has grown in four years from a few hundred people to a four-day event with educational seminars, giveaways, contests and a pool party.
The schedule of events runs from Aug. 24-27, with the main show taking place on Saturday, Aug. 26. Los Straitjackets, the high-energy, instrumental, Mexican wrestling mask-wearing surf rock band, will close out an entire day of live surf music on the beach at the Anchor’s Bend in the Grand Arcade at Convention Hall.

“Getting Los Straitjackets was my dream come true for the festival,” said Magdalena O’Connell, who along with her husband, Vincent Minervino, started the event in 2014.

The members of Los Straitjackets don’t speak much during their shows, save for a few brief Spanglish phrases. They communicate through their music, playing crowd favorites such as “Tequila,” “My Heart Will Go On,” “Rawhide,” “Sing Sing Sing” and the themes from “The Munsters” and “Batman.”

The music starts on the beach stage at noon with The Reefriders, followed by The Televisionaries, Great White Caps, The Surfrajettes, Slowey and the Boats, Black Flamingos, Aqualads and The Fathoms.

“We have a fun vibe with the bands this year,” said O’Connell. “It’s going to be a super dancy beach party. Hopefully people will feel like they’re in an old movie.”

O’Connell and Minervino own the record label Hi-Tide Recordings, and Minervino is one of the members of Black Flamingos. In June, they traveled with the band to play a few shows in Italy, including the Surfer Joe Summer Festival in Livorno, one of the biggest surf music festivals in the world.

The Asbury Park Surf Music Festival, Aug. 24
– 27, attracts surf music fans of all ages.

“More and more people are listening to the genre,” said O’Connell. “There are a lot of surf music enthusiasts who are well-versed in the old and new music.”
The party starts on August 24 with a tiki cocktail hour and DJ Hi-Tide spinning surf tunes on vinyl at the Asbury Hotel. Legendary guitarist Dick Dale will appear at the Wonder Bar that evening for the Asbury Park Surf Music Festival kickoff party.
Volunteers are invited to an Aloha Friday Beach Sweep in partnership with the Surfrider Foundation, Jersey Shore Chapter, followed by cocktails, dinner and live music from Bongo Surf at the Anchor’s Bend.
On Saturday, in addition to the music, there will be a Sailor Jerry rum symposium at the Anchor’s Bend, where guests can learn tips and tricks to making great cocktails. Chris DiPinto of DiPinto Guitars will host a guitar demo along with members of Los Straitjackets. There will be a surfboard giveaway, twist contest and after-party at the Anchor’s Bend Upperdeck Shuffleboard Club.
Sunday’s events include a tiki brunch with live music from Slowey and the Boats, followed by a hangover pool party at the Asbury Hotel.
“I hope we’re part of bringing this exciting music back to Asbury Park,” said O’Connell.
Tickets are $20. For more information, visit

Theater Review: 'Newsies'

Arts and entertainment writer Mary Ann Bourbeau can be reached at



If you liked this story, you’ll love our newspaper. Click here to subscribe

You may also like