Entertainment Featured (List) Music

Sea Hear Now 2024: A Must or Bust?

What has two major headliners, a venue on the Jersey Shore, and mixed reviews from their festival fans? Did you guess Sea Hear Now? If you did, you’re right!

Sea Hear Now Music Festival finally released its lineup on Mar. 5 amid the Instagram and Facebook glitch. After last year’s killer lineup of stars like Foo Fighters, The Killers, Weezer, Mt. Joy, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Greta Van Fleet, The Beach Boys, The Rebelution, and more, fans had sky-high expectations for 2024. But fans were also extremely upset with the overcrowding issues and technical problems during the festival last year, especially when it came to the headliners towards the end of the night who drew in the crowds. So the festival officials and producers had some making up to do with their loyal music fans.
Let’s just say the festival go-ers were a mixed bag of emotions about the 2024 lineup. Seems like Sea Hear Now might have booked the budget out on these two big-named headliners this year.

The Saturday, Sep. 14 lineup consists of Robert Randolph Band, Grace Potter, Peachers, The Hives, 311, The Black Crowes, The Revivalists, and other small-name bands. The headliner is the one and only Noah Kahan, who came to fame with his song “Stick Season” in 2022 and blew up from there. Fans were utterly disappointed in Kahan being a headliner. Especially when rumors of The Red Hot Chili Peppers and No Doubt were spinning around various media platforms.

Why do so many believe Kahan doesn’t deserve to be a headliner? He’s performed at many other well-known festivals like Iron Blossom, Ocean’s Calling, Bonnaroo, Summerfest, Lollapalooza Chicago, and Austin City Limits. He has performed alongside and collaborated with some of the greatest musicians alive, such as Brandi Carlile and Hozier. And there’s no denying Kahan can’t command a crowd since he’s sold out performances at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Doesn’t he deserve a shot? Or are the old Jersey locals too stuck in their older ways to listen and discover new music? The whole point of a music festival is to discover new artists and also jam out to the ones you came for.

As much as fans were whelmed by the Saturday lineup, I believe Sunday shook them to their core. The Sunday, Sep. 15 lineup consists of the Trey Anastasio Band, Norah Jones, The Gaslight Anthem, Kool & the Gang, Action Bronson, Gogol Bordello, The Aces, and more. The big Sunday headliner is none other than New Jersey legend Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band.

“The Boss” is going back to his roots! Springsteen will likely sing his hits like “Born to Run,” “Dancing in the Dark,” “Born in the U.S.A.,” and “I’m On Fire.” This will certainly be a highlight reel in Jersey Shore history. Everyone who lives in New Jersey is somewhat aware of Springsteen and how he grew up in Freehold, NJ. He has performed 10 minutes away from Monmouth University at The Stone Pony Stage in the 80s-2000s. He hasn’t taken a main stage as a big act in Asbury Park since Dec. of 2010 when he sang at the Carousel House on the south end of the boardwalk. He has, however, performed on the Sea Hear Now stage as a special guest in 2018 with Social Distortion. But he certainly wasn’t headlining…

With Noah Kahan on Saturday and Bruce Springsteen on Sunday, Sea Hear Now is sure to be one of the biggest the stage has seen. Tickets went on sale two days after the lineup announcement on Mar. 7. It seems like Sea Hear Now gave out the presale code to everyone who signed up for the text messages. So it’s no wonder the ticket purchasing turned into a full-on Hunger Games-type experience. Every festival go-er for themselves! And may the odds of getting a 2-day General Admission ticket be ever in your favor.

Those who got the presale code were able to log in at 10 am for the chance to purchase their tickets. Sea Hear Now uses a ticket site called Front Gate, and with a name like that, of course, there were problems. A small percentage of fans were able to get in without a problem. The other percentage faced walls like “504 Gateway Time-Outs,” credit cards getting declined, not being able to select a state, and tickets falling through right there at checkout. Watching that time tick away from five minutes to one is utterly disappointing. Lots of New Jersey natives who have been to the festival since the first year in 2018 weren’t able to get tickets.

As much as Sea Hear Now messed up in regards to their fans and even possibly the lineup. You can’t deny how much fun this festival is! Live music on the beach for two days with food and drinks. How can you go wrong? So, if you have tickets, make the most of them! Study up on those artists you don’t know and enjoy the ones you do. It’s sure to be something you’ll remember “Forever” as part of your “Glory Days.”