Seaside Heights is urging visitors who are not in town for the Gentlemen of the Road music festival this weekend to consider heading to Seaside Park or Lavallette instead.
The message issued by borough officials on Thursday predicted heavy traffic delays as the beachfront concert, featuring headliners Mumford and Sons, will lead to more than 35,000 attendees flooding Seaside Heights. The borough’s beaches officially closed Thursday and will reopen Monday. Seaside Heights beach badges will be honored by Seaside Park this weekend.
The boardwalk between Casino Pier and Hiering Avenue will remain open for public access, but a festival pass or wristband will be required to access the entirety of the boardwalk besides that northern portion. Casino Pier will remain open to the public throughout the festival.
Over the past two days, crews were busy setting up a large stage on the Grant Avenue beach, as well as beer tents, a sea of portable toilets and space for thousands of campers who will pitch tents on the beach. General admission tickets for the event, which will feature a mix of folk and rock artists, were selling for about $70 on StubHub.com.
“Think of this weekend as an extra 4th of July weekend for Seaside Heights while surrounding municipalities will be having their usual first weekend of June,” a notice from the borough said, warning of traffic delays.
The Route 37 bridge over Barnegat Bay will remain open, though some streets in Seaside Heights will be closed. Additionally, campers were being directed by signs to park in various locations in Ortley Beach, which will doubtlessly lead to a parking crunch in that neighborhood.
The concert’s promoter is providing a shuttle service from Toms River High School North, Toms River High School East and Toms River Intermediate School North for festival ticket holders, which employees of Seaside Heights businesses are aso welcome to use. Concertgoers and workers can park their cars in those lots and board the shuttle busses which will drop them off at Stockton Avenue in Seaside Park. The shuttles will run until 3 a.m. each night of the festival.
As for road closures:
- Ocean Terrace between Hiering and Sherman avenues will remain closed, as a secondary stage for additional performances will be set up in the area.
- Barricades are located on Blaine Avenue, Webster Avenue, Hamilton Avenue, Sumner Avenue, Franklin Avenue, Lincoln Avenue, Dupont Avenue and Porter Avenue. The streets will be closed, though they will remain open to residents.
- Bay Boulevard will be turned into a one-way street between Sampson and Blaine avenues.
- Grant Avenue between the Boulevard and Ocean Terrace will be closed. The beachfront stage is located on the Grant Avenue beach.
Parking is expected to be extremely limited throughout the borough. Seaside Heights will be operating a complimentary school bus shuttle service along Ocean Avenue in Seaside Park from 14th Avenue to Stockton Avenue from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Those who want to ride should flag down the bus; there are no specific stops.