BRICK – Two of the four bands chosen for the annual Summerfest Concerts are returning; one is familiar; and one will be playing for the first time, according to township director of recreation Dan Santaniello, who said the band selection was just finalized in the last two weeks.
“We wanted to have bands that our residents are interested in hearing. You can tell by the size of the crowd that 80s and 90s music is the most popular,” he said from his Civic Plaza office last week.
Although people of all ages attend the Summerfest concerts, the majority of the 5,000 to 8,000 attendees are between the ages of 30 and 50, he said.
The Summerfest series kicks off on July 5 with the new band, “Jessie’s Girl,” who play 80s, 90s and current music.
On July 12, “Saved By the 90s,” would be returning after skipping a year; and on July 19, “Garden State Radio” would be playing again along with the band chosen for the July 26 concert, “The Amish Outlaws.”
Santaniello said that he and Mayor John G. Ducey, Business Administrator Joanne Bergen, and sometimes council members and/or department heads attend a showcase at Nanina’s in the Park in Belleville to choose bands, which are then booked through LaGuardia Entertainment Associates.
“We try to avoid cover bands because they usually select one artist and only play that music,” Santaniello explained. “These bands cover many different artists.”
The administration wants Summerfest to be well-attended, partly because they are mindful of the food vendors and the beer/wine garden vendor, he said.
The township goes out to bid for the vendors and takes the highest bidders, which, along with sponsorships, pay all the costs associated with Summerfest, Santaniello said.
Last year there were seven food vendors – ice cream, funnel cake, fried Oreos, pizza, and two specialty foods – who each paid between $1,200 and $1,800, and every one of them did well, Santaniello said. The trucks get a 20’ x 20’ area in the food court.
The township seeks the minimum bid for the beer and wine vendor. Last year the minimum bid was $5,000, and it went to Windward Beach Tavern for the second year in a row, Santaniello said.
Each Summerfest concert ends with a fireworks display, and the township has switched between two vendors in the past. Most recently the lower vendor charged $17,000 for five events, including the October 13 Bricktober Fest.
Since the concerts are crowded, the bidding for food vendors has become competitive, Santaniello said. If you are interested, call the township purchasing agent Maryann Jusinski at 732 262-1058.
Other township music events include concerts at Trader’s Cove Marina Park scheduled for the month of August. The lineup is: August 1, Bobby Bandiera; August 8, Motor City Revue; August 15 Tim McLoone and The Shirleys; and August 22, The Basso Brothers. All concerts begin at 7 p.m.
The Summerfest concerts and Trader’s Cove Marina Park concerts are all free.
To see a full listing of cultural events, including the April 21 play, “As Time Goes By” (for which registration is required); the schedule for Movies in the Park; the Car Show; Kids’ Night Out; Kite Fest; Craft Yard Sale; Golf Outing; and Trunk or Treat, visit parksandrecreation.bricktownship.net.