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Sea Hear Now 2022 review: Stevie Nicks unleashes ‘fairytale’ rock dominance

in Toms River Events

As the ocean breeze fluttered the scarves and chains dangling from her microphone stand, Stevie Nicks gazed out over the immense crowd — some 30,000 strong stretched a quarter-mile down the beach, a vision of late-summer Jersey Shore serenity — and described the scene as only she might: “a fairytale.”

The sprawling Sea Hear Now festival kicked off its fourth year in Asbury Park Saturday, and as droves of fans flooded the sand north of historic Convention Hall and nearby Bradley Park, it was clear New Jersey’s largest homegrown rock and pop music festival has successfully cultivated its own mystique and atmosphere (or brand recognition, if you’re cynical) — a sense of singularity and destination no amount of money can buy.

While I cannot speak to the strain put on the city to assist in policing and organizing such an event, from within the festival walls Sea Hear Now again appeared as a resounding victory for production company C3 Presents, who put on the fest — as well as the much larger Lollapalooza in Chicago and Austin City Limits in Austin — in partnership with Danny Clinch, the Toms River-native rock photographer, best known as Bruce Springsteen’s personal picture man.

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