Jack Antonoff Announces Shadow of the City Music Festival in New Jersey
Jack Antonoff has had his hands in multiple projects over the years, most notably his Grammy-winning outfit, Fun., and his solo work under the stage moniker Bleachers. Now, he’ll add music festival founder to his ever-growing résumé.
Antonoff has announced he will launch the inaugural installment of Shadow of the City, a music festival slated for this September in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The festival will take place over the course of Sept. 19 at the Stone Pony SummerStage. The lineup features eight artists all hand-picked by Antonoff, including Charli XCX, Vic Mensa, the Front Bottoms, MisterWives, Cults, How to Dress Well and Robert Delong. Antonoff's Bleachers will be the festival’s headliner.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, the New Jersey native discussed plans for the upcoming festival and the significance of its location. Antonoff said his interest in starting Shadow of the City was largely inspired by the state of the music industry. In the wake of the digital era, the Bleachers singer says festivals are one of the few consistent and positive aspects of the current landscape.
“It's something I've always dreamed about doing,” he said. “I love music festivals, and I think that with the landscape of the music business rapidly changing, it's the one thing that is only getting better and more exciting. With all the conversations about the ways people consume music and about streaming, live music is just this rock.”
He added that his experience playing at other festivals over the course of his career has helped inform Shadow of the City, which will max out at 5,000 concertgoers and feature only one stage as to avoid competing set times.
“I've played almost every festival,” Antonoff said. “This year, I'm playing Bonnaroo and it'll be my 10th anniversary of the first time I played it, which is kind of crazy. I've just seen so much of what works and what doesn't, so we're bringing all of that information in for the first year.”
Antonoff added that it was key that he create a festival in his home state that celebrates its rich music history.
“I want everything about this festival to feel like New Jersey,” he explained. “It's not just like ‘Hey, we got a bunch of bands who are from New Jersey.’ Everything from the vendors to everything going on is totally Jersey-based. We're going to have record stands where it's just Jersey music. It's going to be based around that. That's never going to get lost in the festival. It is meant to be a New Jersey festival.”
While Bleachers will headline Shadow of the City’s first year (Antonoff also said he plans to collaborate and appear on stage with fellow festival acts), he says he hopes to eventually play a more behind-the-scenes role of the festival.
“I want to do it forever, and I want it to be something that I want to curate every year and not headline,” he said. “With all these new festivals coming up, I think there's a danger for all of them to become too corporate or too much like the other ones. I just want it to exist in its own place.”