December 10, 2020

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WAWY 2019 Photos: Diane DiMemmo of Asbury Park Vibes

ASBURY PARK NJ – Established in 2017, the annual “What a Wonderful Year” (WAWY) show once again gives fans the ultimate year-end “after-party” with 22 of their favorite Jersey Shore artists performing in a multistage, two-night music festival. The 4th annual show on December 28 and 29 features live performances streaming free online from 6pm to midnight each evening. 

Performances will alternate between the Asbury Lanes and Danny Clinch’s Transparent Gallery to ensure all performers can be safely distanced between sets. Performances from the Transparent Gallery will have no audience and the Asbury Lanes will have a private, limited capacity audience. The event is managed by local label Telegraph Hill Records and supported by sponsors including Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Last Wave Brewery, Asbury Sunset Presents, MOGO Korean Tacos, Playa Bowls,The Pod Studios, Sessa Andrieu Wealth Management, UBS Financial Services, Leonardo Jewelers, Bath Fitter, Live Music Loyalty, and Belmar Law Group. A portion of the show proceeds, along with online donations and auctions, will benefit the Asbury Park Music Foundation and Save Our Stages.

This show was made possible largely due to generous and Asbury Park local sponsors, to be announced shortly.

In a year that few might consider “wonderful” how do you make a large music event happen at all, and how do you do so safely? “We are all anxious to resume live music events and move on from 2020 but nothing is more important than doing so safely,” said event co-promoter and Telegraph Hill Records founder Joe Pomarico. “The livestream offers a larger fan base the chance to enjoy the music from home and gather for ‘watch parties’ with close family and friends to extend their holiday celebrations.”

“We are pleased to safely bring together this talented group of performers, most of whom released new music in 2020, to celebrate the vibrancy, diversity and unity of the Asbury Park live music community, “said co-promoter Jim Lenskold. “The line-up features a wide range of musical styles from established and emerging acts to truly represent the City’s thriving music scene.”

“We addressed the ‘Wonderful Year’ show name issue creatively, using a rebrand that’s sensitive to the losses and challenges we’ve all experienced,” explains Matt Fernicola, VP of THR Promotions. Promotions will feature a fill-in-the-blank graphic “What a _____ Year” design, along with suggestions for the blank such as Wacky, Weird and Wild. Art director Madison Van Houten met the task head on, with an 80’s MTV inspired vibe that channels the pioneer age of music television brilliantly. Said Van Houten, “I’ve always been a fan of the early MTV branding. When we decided to make our logo move and rotate different adjectives, their style came to mind. And 40 years after MTV launched, here we all are, discovering and watching music almost exclusively through the screen.”

Save Our Stages is an effort by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) to support independent venues and promoters that were hit hard in 2020. The NIVA Emergency Relief Fund will be a beneficiary of this fundraiser. Streaming from two landmark Asbury Park venues was important to WAWY. Asbury Lanes, the legendary bowling alley-turned music venue, was christened by Bruce Springsteen in 2018 after a loving restoration by developer and owner iStar who also owns The Asbury. Renowned photographer Danny Clinch’s Transparent Gallery, based in The Asbury hotel, exhibits Clinch’s work and has served as a hub for live music performances pre-pandemic. This will be the first live music event happening at Asbury Lanes since March and is hopefully a sign of better things to come in 2021. “We’re excited to welcome Telegraph Hill Records into our beloved space to support the Asbury Park music scene in a safe and responsible way, ending the year on an uplifting note,” said David Bowd, CEO of Salt Hotels and operator of Asbury Lanes.

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Scheduled performers, subject to change in these unpredictable times, include:

December 28

Drew the Recluse

Des & the Swagmatics

Daughter Vision

Alexander Simone & WHODAT


Patty C & Cranston Dean


Chill Smith

Jackson Pines

Bryan Hansen & Matt Cook

Blaise & David Ross Lawn

December 29

Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son

Jarod Clemons & the Late Nights


Kate Dressed Up

The Foes of Fern

ManDancing (solo)

Little Hag

Candy Cavity

Marc A. Tappan

Avery Rose

Taylor Tote & Nick Ryan

Watch live at

About What A Wonderful Year

WAWY was created by Asbury Park-based musician Joey Henderson who partnered with Kyle Brendle to produce the shows at the Wonder Bar in 2017 and 2018. As Joey was departing for California, he left the 2019 show in the hands of several locals to carry the torch for another Wonder Bar show. Run by the team at Telegraph Hill Records, the event continues on with a shift in venues, despite the incredible challenges of 2020.

Last year’s event produced live albums by Des & the Swagmatics and Connor Bracken & the Mother Leeds Band as well as an encore livestream of the video recording.

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Asbury Park Vibes is a media publication dedicated to shining a light on the live music scene, as well as promoting the artists we love! We strive to provide show reviews, photographs, and artist stories that bring fans and musicians closer together.

Our coverage focuses keenly on the artists and venues in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York; however, you'll also catch us featuring musicians and shows all across the U.S!!! There's nothing better than the ENERGY and VIBES we all feel from live music! We're sure we'll see you at a show somewhere very soon!

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