For the past six years, fans of all musical genres have flocked to the Bamboozle Festival at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. They endured the rain, the blistering heat, the outrageous food prices and the pain of standing for hours on end, but—at the end of the third day—they left the stadium parking lot with ears ringing and faces grinning.
Before East Rutherford, however, Bamboozle was located in Asbury Park, New Jersey and was known as the Skate & Surf Festival. Similar to the Vans Warped Tour, Skate & Surf was a twelve-hour event featuring over forty bands. The indoor festival featured such prominent “scene” bands as Allister, The Movielife and From Autumn to Ashes. In the years that followed, the newly-named Bamboozle Festival grew larger and larger, featuring performances from some of the biggest acts in pop, rock and rap.
This year, Bamboozle creator John D’Esposito is on a mission to bring back the intimate feel of Skate & Surf, while also booking high-profile performers from all genres. Headliners like Bon Jovi, Blink-182, Foo Fighters, Skrillex, Incubus and Mac Miller appeal to a wide audience, while smaller “niche” bands like the recently-reunited The Receiving End of Sirens, The Wonder Years and Like Moths to Flames will certainly draw their own crowds. In celebration of the festival’s tenth anniversary, D’Esposito even moved Bamboozle back to Asbury Park, where concert-goers can enjoy scenic ocean views instead of a crowded parking lot. And what would a party on the Jersey Shore be without a performance from DJ Pauly D?
What else is different for 2012? Here are a few of Bamboozle’s biggest changes:
- Get your rice ready: The Rocky Horror Picture Show…starring Bamboozle performers? Needless to say, it will be hilarious.
- No more tickets: The Bamboozle will use electronic wristbands instead of paper tickets. The wristbands will help staff to keep track of the crowds and eliminates the need for attendees to bring cash.
- Higher admission prices: Moving the festival to Asbury Park was not cheap. Neither was bringing on some of the biggest names in popular music today. Accordingly, admission prices are significantly higher this year (three-day passes are $81 more than last year), but the increase will still probably be worth every penny.
- Linc’s Very Special Guest: “Linc’s Special Guest” is a performer that shows up for a surprise set during Bamboozle. Past performers have included everyone from Jack’s Mannequin to Journey. But this year, Linc’s guest is “Very Special,” and is a Sunday night headliner. Rumors have been swirling for weeks, with the most popular guesses being Bruce Springsteen and Nicki Minaj.
Bamboozle 2012 will be held May 18-20 in Asbury Park’s North Beach area. More wristband purchases and more information, check out their official Web site.
Never been to Bamboozle? This trailer from the 2011 Bamboozle Documentary gives you a taste of what this epic weekend is like. You can watch the full documentary here.