Less than an hour from Atlantic City, the Appel Farm Arts & Music Festival is an annual spring event that lets you enjoy a variety of top-tier live music, food vendors, crafts, a children's village and more.
ELMER — For 22 years the Appel Farm Arts & Music Festival has brought a wide range of internationally acclaimed performers — from Greg Brown and Robert Cray to Richard Thompson and Aimee Mann.
This year’s festival will be held Saturday, June 4, starting at 11:30am and will go on until 8:30pm. The big-name acts this year include Gogol Bordello, Nicole Atkins, Josh Ritter and Ani DiFranco. (Click here to see last year's line-up.)
Set on 176 pristine acres surrounding the Appel Farm Arts & Music Center in Elmer (Salem County), N.J., the festival will provide entertainment on two stages — with both musicians and poets as part of this year’s program. About 15 musicians/ensembles will perform throughout the day, and the festival also includes a juried crafts fair, a children’s village, food vendors and a beer and wine tent.
The annual festival — located midway between Philadelphia and Atlantic City — specializes in performers working in folk, blues, alt-country, roots, Celtic and acoustic rock. It benefits Appel Farm’s summer arts camp scholarship program and community arts outreach residencies in public schools, and also promotes a sense of discovery by introducing up-and-coming artists — many of whom have gone on to establish successful careers after debuting at the Appel Farm Festival.
About the music acts: Gogol Bordello is an acclaimed East European Gypsy punk band known for its high-spirited theatrical live shows. If you like Mumford & Sons and The Pogues, you'll love Gogol Bordello.
Also headlining is Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band, known for their distinctive Americana folk style and narrative lyrics. Ritter was recently included in Paste magazine’s 100 greatest living songwriters among such luminaries as Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. If you like Ray LaMontagne, Amos Lee and John Prine, you'll dig Ritter, too..
Having released 20 albums over the years, and having moved from the raw folk punk of her early years through jazz-funk grooves, Ani DiFranco will make her third Appel Farm Festival appearance.
If you’re looking to get your groove on, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue is the source. The band will play its mix of rock, funk, jazz, hip-hop and soul. This band can draw both the unqualified respect of jazz legends and deliver a high-energy rock show, steeped in the traditions of New Orleans jazz.
Additional performers include Good Old War, an indie band with infectious sing-along melodies and intricate vocal harmonies, and two Appel Farm Festival favorites — John Gorka and Lucy Kaplansky — who will team with songwriter Eliza Gilkyson in a new ensemble called Red Horse.
Others are Neptune, N.J.'s Nicole Atkins & The Black Sea, known for their mix of traditional vocal styles and soul-full lyrics; David Wax Museum, playing traditional Mexican and American folk music; John Francis, singing emotionally intense lyrics spread across multiple genres/styles; Avi Wisnia, singing a combination of 1950s West-Coast jazz, classic Brazilian boss nova and contemporary pop; RUNA, who will bring out your Irish side with a new spin on traditional Celtic music; and last but certainly not least Napalm Da Bomb, the performance poet and a regular on the jazz-poetry scene who mixes jazz, hip-hop, blues and drama into his performances.
“We had it rough. We are not of privilege. We were literally hungry during the early days of this band."
“I was a long distance runner,” Hutz says. “I was a good runner ever since I was in the second grade. I was on a very serious team. There was talk of going to the Olympics, that serious. I was that good.”
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