After 10 years, Jersey City’s Fourth St. Art and Music Festival to end this Oct.; annual event to be replaced with summer concert series
Aug 20, 2013 | 5546 views | 1 1 comments | 68 68 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pictured: The musical group Thomas Francis Takes His Chances performing at the 2011 Fourth Street Art and Music Festival. Photo by Mike McNamara
Pictured: The musical group Thomas Francis Takes His Chances performing at the 2011 Fourth Street Art and Music Festival. Photo by Mike McNamara
JERSEY CITY – Call it the end of an era, and the dawn of something new.

A recent online posting regarding the 2013 Fourth Street Art and Music Festival, hosted annually by Fourth Street Arts, caught our eye and took us a little by surprise. For the past nine years, Fourth Street Arts hosted the festival, which the organization billed as a day of “art, music, and community,” to coincide with the city’s annual Artists’ Studio Tour weekend, held each October. The free festival was something of a distilled combination of Not Yo Mama’s Craft Fair-meets-Groove on Grove-meets-Artists’ Studio Tour and attracted thousands of attendees each year.

Given the festival’s success, it’s not surprising there would be another one scheduled for October 2013. But unlike previous mentions of the festival, the ominous word “final” was included in the most recent online posting about the event, as in “The final Art and Music Festival.” Could that really be true? Was that a typo? Did we misread that?

Apparently not, according to festival founder Mike McNamara.

“Yes, I did post that,” McNamara said when asked. “[You’re] probably wondering why. It’s just time to wrap this…event up, and the tenth is a nice place to do it.”

Each year, the 10-hour music-oriented festival presented the best live local acts from the rock, soul, and jazz genres. The festival also included interactive public art displays creative activities for kids. In the last few years the festival has added a live comedy stage to its mix of entertainment offerings. Emerging artists from local high schools who received education grants from Fourth Street Arts were also given an opportunity to showcase their talents during the festival.

All that will come to an end after the Art and Music brings down the curtain for the last time this October.

But fear not, festival fans. The Fourth Street Arts crew has bigger and better plans in store for Jersey City next year, according to McNamara.

“We are evolving the organization,” he said, “and focusing on a new event: a ‘Summer 2014 Jersey City Waterfront Concert Series.’”

Before fantasizing about amazing outdoor concerts set against the New York skyline coming Jersey City’s way next year, say goodbye to the art festival that was. Studio Tour weekend will take place on Saturday, Oct. 5 and Sunday, Oct. 6, with the final Fourth Street Art and Music Festival taking place that Saturday. – E. Assata Wright

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Erin Marie
August 29, 2013
Does anyone know if the Land of the Free-Form Arts & Music Festival will be making a return this year? I missed both festivals last year, and hoping for another chance to get to either.

P.S. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the image posted is from the 2011 concert, no? Anyway, delighted to hear of plans for another outdoor concert series in Jersey City.