Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases

Los Lobos, Ruthie Foster to Headline 14th Annual Maplewoodstock in July


MAPLEWOOD, NJ - What does a richly spiritual Mexican-American band from East L.A. and an Austin-based blues and soul guitarist who covers Black Sabbath on her new album have in common?

Both will be headlining the fourteenth installment of Maplewoodstock, a free, two-day, live music and arts festival that will take place on Saturday, July 8, and Sunday, July 9 at Memorial Park in the center of Maplewood.

And while the stage will be pulsing with 24 bands that will perform from noon to 10 p.m. each day, there is a lot more to the festival which has grown substantially since its single-day event debut back in 2004.

Sign Up for E-News

Expect a bevy of local arts and crafts vendors and a food court with options ranging from family-friendly chicken fingers to lobster rolls and gluten-free cupcakes.

And beer. And wine.

Escape the kids for a short while by sipping a cold one at the Beer Garden, featuring selections from Dave Hoffman's Climax Brewery of Roselle Park. The wine list will be curated by Maplewood's self-professed “wine geek” Hank Zona.

The youngins' will be kept busy at the KidZone which will include games, inflatable rides, crafts and more.

The organizers champion the idea of bringing the local and nearby communities together for this festival, which has become an annual ritual.

“We love seeing old friends and neighbors – and new friends! – relaxing on their blankets and lawn chairs, enjoying their picnic baskets, and packing the hillside park for a family-friendly weekend," says Drew Six, Maplewoodstock Chairperson.

The festival regularly attracts both critically-acclaimed headline performers as well as a mix of impressive local and regional musicians.

Saturday's headliner, Los Lobos, started as an East L.A. garage band in 1973 and came to international attention with their cover of Richie Valens' "La Bamba" in 1987 as well as their album “How Will The Wolf Survive?”

“We’re a Mexican American band, and no word describes America like immigrant," says Louie Pérez, a drummer, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for Los Lobos. "Most of us are children of immigrants, so it’s perhaps natural that the songs we create celebrate America in this way.”

Ruthie Foster, who hails originally from the small town of Gause, Texas, will bring her blend of blues, folk, soul, rock and gospel to her headlining show on Sunday night.

Foster, who cites Mavis Staples and Aretha Franklin as influences, calls her performances "hallelujah time."  Her newest album, “Joy Comes Back,” was released earlier this year, featuring an exciting range of cover songs. Not many can boast covers of both the Four Tops’ “Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever” written by Ivy Jo Hunter and Stevie Wonder and "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath on the same album.

Maplewoodstock also offers up many other bands, selected from over 100 applicants "who span from Essex County, NJ, to Essex, England," explained festival promoters.

And the competition is stiff. Out of 107 applications, 21 bands were selected.

“What we try to do is select the best music, the best bands, while also mixing up the styles and sounds on the stage,” says Gary Shippy, one of the festival organizers. “But the roots of this event are about local bands.”

Those bands include Velvet Rose Band from Morris County, which will hit the stage on Saturday as well as PTW Voices, made up of current and former performing arts school students in Maplewood.

On Sunday, South Orange's Matt Mattheiss Band will offer up original songs from their new album “Living in the Grey” as well as featured act The Hip Abduction, which has gained national attention for their blending of African folk and early reggae/dub sounds. “The Hip Abduction is a young band which adds to the diversity of music we try to offer,” says Shippy.

While exact crowd numbers are not available for previous years, popular bands, such as The Wailers who headlined the festival in 2015, attract thousands. For Shippy and the event organizers, the goal is gather locals together. “We like to say we’re of the community and for the community,” adds Shippy. “We want to throw a huge neighborhood party.”

The Maplewoodstock website has general festival information, band bios, directions, and real-time updates. The music is free and open to the public. You can help contribute by patronizing vendors, purchasing t-shirts, as well as by donating on the festival’s website.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Newark Residents and Businesses Sound Off on Amazon HQ2

March 23, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - As Amazon continues to search for the home of its second corporate headquarters, the City of Newark is pleased to be in the esteemed company of 20 worthy locations nationwide.

The City is reaching out, on an individual basis, to see how its businesses and residents feel about the potential of welcoming Amazon to Newark. Canvassers recently flooded downtown locations throughout ...

Retro Fitness Calls Stafford Police to Remove Man for Praying for Another Member

March 23, 2018

STAFFORD, NJ - Retro Fitness club member and Long Beach Township resident Craig Fasler was escorted by a member of the Stafford Township Police Department out of the gym because an employee accused him of sharing his faith in public. 

TAPinto Stafford-LBI was contacted by a Stafford Township resident about the incident that took place on Wednesday, March 21 around ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, March 24

Black Diamond Billiard's, Union

Ladies 9-Ball Pro-Am by the Garden State Pool Tour

Other Sports

Sat, March 24

Black Diamond Billiard's, Union

Ladies 9-Ball Pro-Am by the Garden State Pool Tour

Other Sports

Sat, March 24, 9:30 AM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Nature-Infused Yoga Winter/Spring ...

Green Health & Wellness

Letter to the Editor: Mis-management At Presby Threatens Future of the Garden

March 23, 2018

Dear Editor,

It is with concern that I bring this subject to the attention to all who care and treasure the Presby Memorial Iris Garden, which along with the cherry trees of Branch Brook Park is one of the crown jewels of the Essex County Park System.  This historic garden founded 90 years ago by Frank Presby on  Upper Mt. Ave. is known internationally for its collection which ...

Montclair Police Blotter: Man Arrested for Animal Cruelty, Juveniles Charged with Breaking into Cars and More

March 22, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The following blotter was compiled by the Montclair Police Department on March 3, 2018:

03-17- 2018 (Pine Street) Two Montclair juveniles (15 & 16yoa) were arrested after being observed
breaking into multiple vehicles. One of the juveniles was charged with theft, the other with Possession
of CDS.
03-18- 2018 (Eagle Rock Way) Mr. Lawrence Athill, 64yoa from ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

Dzieci Theatre Passion, set in Warsaw Ghetto, to come to Christ Church Bloomfield Glen Ridge Palm Sunday

March 23, 2018

GLEN RIDGE, NJ - Christ Church of Bloomfield / Glen Ridge invites the community to a performance of the Passion Play by Dzici Theatre on Palm Sunday March 25 at 10:30 a.m. 

Set in the shadow of the Warsaw ghetto, Dzieci refined their text from the earliest existing translations, relying heavily on the Aramaic Pashita, incorporating Hebraic song and chant, and ritual elements of ...