The Smithereens help take SouthNext festival to the next level

The Smithereens will headline the Jan. 16 Light of Day concert at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park.

The Smithereens will perform at the South Orange Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m. June 18, as part of the SouthNext festival.

Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens once described the band’s music as “Black Sabbath meets the Beatles in a very odd sort of way.” So they are, in other words, the perfect band to anchor the SouthNext festival, taking place this weekend at the South Orange Performing Arts Center and other nearby venues.

The annual festival, launched last year as South by South Orange, has the theme of “creative collisions,” and aspires to bring together all kinds of people — not just artists, but politicians, educators, technology experts and so on — to interact with each other and create new insights. There will be music performances, but also a variety of workshops, discussions and activities related to subjects ranging from drones to love.

The Smithereens will perform at 8 p.m. June 18 at SOPAC, with separate tickets required, but $10 discounts available for SouthNext attendees.

SouthNext wristbands are $30 in advance ($15 for those under 21), and are good for admission to all the events below. For information, visit


Above Restaurant & Bar
9 p.m.: JT Harper (music)

Gaslight Brewery and Restaurant
9 p.m.: Meg Berry (music)
10 p.m.: Marry the Sea (music)

6 p.m.: Tech(ing) Ball (cocktail party)
7 p.m.: Tanya Turgeon (juggling demonstration and lessons)
7 p.m.: Clarity Brass (music)
7 p.m.: Mike Griot Blues Band
7 p.m.: Drawn In: Social Art Generation (technology)
8 p.m.: Improv for Everyone, with Lulu French

SOPAC Main Stage
6 p.m.: LUX (music)
7:30 p.m.: Hey Anna (music)
9:30 p.m.: Brother Valiant (music)


Above Restaurant and Bar
4 p.m.: “Artistry vs. Monetization” (discussion)
7:30 p.m.: Tobias Meinhardt and Yago Vazquez (music)
10 p.m.: Bridget Davis and Sam Petitti (music)

Creative Midway
Noon-4 p.m.: Collective Memory Puzzle (participatory sculpture project)
Noon-4 p.m.: Creature Comforts (participatory sculpture project)
Noon-4 p.m.: Life Drawing Marathon
Noon-4 p.m.: No Place Like Home (participatory collage project)
Noon-4 p.m.: Rekonfigures and Rekonstructures (art using recycled material)
Noon-4 p.m.: What’s in a Cube? (participatory sculpture project)
Noon-4 p.m.: Make Your Own Wooden Toys
Noon-4 p.m.: Element of Play (mobile toy library)
Noon and 2:30 p.m.: Jennifer Ostrega (children’s theater with puppets)
12:30 p.m.: South Orange Symphony, conducted by Susan Haig
1 p.m.: Viva Flamenco (music and dance)
1:30 p.m.: The Benson Ridge Project (music)
2 p.m.: IMPROV! (children’s comedy)
3 p.m.: Lydia Johnson Dance

D&I Fitness
3 p.m.: “The Title Bout: Mayor vs. Mayor vs. Mayor,” boxing ring-set debate featuring mayors of South Orange (Sheena Collum), Maplewood (Vic DeLuca) and Livingston (Al Anthony) and others, refereed by New York Observer editor-in-chief Ken Kurson.

Gaslight Brewery and Restaurant
7 p.m.: Kathleen Potton (music)
10 p.m.: Go Slow (music)

10 a.m.: “Biscuits and Bourbon: Breakfast with the Studio B Honchos” (podcast taping)
11:30 a.m.: “Excuse Me … Where Do I Pick Up My Oscar? (discussion about independent filmmaking)
2 p.m.: “It’s Not About the ‘A’ ” (discussion about modern education)
3:30 p.m.: “My Story: A SOMA Video Vignette Project” (storytelling via cell phone and tablet mini-films)

Alexander Kariotis performs at the SOPAC Main Stage, June 18 at 2:30 p.m.

Alexander Kariotis performs at the SOPAC Main Stage, June 18 at 2:30 p.m.

SOPAC Main Stage
1 p.m.: “Celebrity Panel — Greatest SOMA Dinner Party Ever!” David Brancaccio of NPR’s “Marketplace Morning Report” moderate discussion featuring National Urban League president Marc H. Morial and South Orange Middle School and Columbia High School teacher and coach Johanna “Coach” Wright.
2:30 p.m.: Alexander Kariotis & The Rock Opera Orchestra
8 p.m.: The Smithereens (separate ticket required)

South Mountain Yoga
3:15-8 p.m.: “The Eternal Question of Love.” Filmmaker Gerard Amsellem will tape 10-minute interviews on the nature of love to be included in an upcoming documentary.

Work and Play
9:15 a.m.-4:45 p.m.: Family Programming: Indoor/Outdoor Exploration
11:30 a.m.: A conversation on Work/Life Balance


Above Restaurant and Bar
11 a.m.: “The Life We Want vs. the Life We Have” (discussion)
3 p.m.: “ROC (Return on Community): The Metric for Success in Volunteering (discussion)

Ricalton’s Village Tavern
1 p.m.: Father’s Day Story Slam

1 p.m.: Drones & Avatars (workshop)
2:30 p.m.: “Anatomy of A Earworm: How a Hit Becomes Hot” (discussion)
4 p.m.: Tori Erstwhile & The Montys (music)

South Mountain Yoga
1:30 p.m.: Chair Yoga (workshop)
3 p.m.: “The Fitness Trap: How ‘Exercise’ Can Wreck Your Body” (workshop)

Work and Play
9:30 a.m.: “Intergenerational Tinkering” (family workshop)

Tori Erstwhile & the Montys perform at the SOPAC Loft at 4 p.m. June 19:

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