Although New Jersey just entered Phase Two of its reopening process, summer days are not yet as carefree as they used to be. Iconic New Jersey locations such as the Jersey Shore beaches, The Stone Pony’s music venue, and the historical Sandy Hook are either operating under strict safety guidelines, or closed entirely. However, even though you may not be able to rock out to classic Springsteen hits with friends on the Fourth of July, you can still safely access concerts and films from your own home, or even outside! These five summer 2020 events allow you to view your favorite art forms from all over the world in just the click of a button.
1. New Jersey’s first drive-in concert
If you’re looking for wholesome humor and a chance to leave the house, the Monmouth Park Racetrack can supply both of those. On July 12th at 7 PM, comedian Jim Gaffigan is putting on a show that people can listen to through their cars in the parking lots by tuning their radios to FM frequency. The racetrack is taking appropriate safety precautions, such as limiting each car to four passengers and having cars being spaced nine feet apart, but it still replicates the feeling of a live show with friends and family- especially in a time where we could all use some lightheartedness! General admission tickets for about $165 are on sale now- try not to miss one of the newest summer 2020 events!
2. Tune into The Stone Pony’s Facebook livestreams
Even though The Stone Pony’s Summer Stage is officially closed for the season, The Stone Pony has utilized their Facebook page to provide months of free concerts for your listening pleasure. Beginning with their “Monday Music” livestreams, hosted by Jarod Clemons of Jarod Clemons and the Late Nights, artists such as the hypnotic Emily Grove or the fiercely talented Alexandra Marshall are featured for up to an hour. The Stone Pony also randomly posts previous livestream events and concerts, such as the classic talent of Bobby Bandiera. They’ve been actively doing these events since March, so there’s an archive of plenty of artists for you to look through, whether they’re your old favorites or you’re looking to discover new talent!
3. View the All in Washington charity livestream
On June 24th at 10 p.m., the philanthropic and political group All in Washington will be hosting a livestream concert to raise money for the state’s coronavirus relief efforts. Artists are, uniquely, all Seattle-based, and span a multitude of genres; Pearl Jam, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Macklemore, and Dave Matthews are among the featured performers. You have a chance to safely and comfortably witness your favorite musical artists live by signing up to Amazon’s Twitch channel before the event. If you end up missing it, don’t worry- it will be available on Amazon Prime after the livestream concludes. This event allows you to simultaneously see artists you love in concert again and contribute to a great cause!
4. Donate to fundraisers for chances to view a virtual concert
Like the All in Washington charity livestream, other artists are doing virtual concerts that double as fundraisers: a notable example of this is Josh Groban, who is doing a livestream concert on June 27th at 4 p.m. Tickets are currently on sale and right now, you can get just live show access, or live show access and a T-shirt bundle. Groban’s performance will feature well-known songs like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Pure Imagination”, while also introducing some new songs. Richard Weitz has also just surpassed $4 million in his exclusive weekly musical livestreams which feature guests like Rick Astley, Ben Platt, The Killers, and Carlos Santana. Weitz has donated to a variety of charities, such as charities for people who are LGBTQ+, or organizations involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, but he frequently expresses his appreciation for frontline workers and allows them to join the streams. These livestreams serve to remind viewers that even though these times may be difficult, music and charity can be a unifying force.
5. Watch FilmOneFest 2020
If you’re missing out on the familiarity and nostalgia of movie theaters, a free and virtual alternative is FilmOneFest, although it doesn’t exactly carry the movies you might expect. FilmOneFest features original, creative short films (under two minutes in length) from all around the world, hand-picked from thousands of submissions. This year, the format of the festival will be virtual shows: the films will be shown every Tuesday night from June 23rd to July 14th at 8 p.m. for 30 minutes through Facebook. On Saturday, July 18th, there will be a virtual awards presentation, so this virtual film festival is sure to be engaging and thrilling, no matter the genre of the films!
Even though this summer may not be exactly what you pictured, these summer 2020 events are mostly virtual and free, but most importantly, they allow you to still experience the summer in a safe way.