More than eight years ago, Dave Matthews brought his three-day Caravan tour to the Jersey Shore. I followed the pre-event announcements for both personal and professional reasons. Personally, as readers have come to know, my interest stemmed from my lifelong enjoyment of live music. Professionally, I was looking at and thinking about the impact a multi-day concert of this magnitude would have on our region and what it might lead to as far as future concerts were concerned.

I was so moved that I submitted my first–ever guest column to The Press of Atlantic City. Not only did the Press print it, the submission ultimately allowed me the opportunity to become a columnist and lead me to where I find myself today, fully immersed in media to include writing about music, concerts and more.

The original piece appeared June 23, 2011. Here is a portion of what I wrote back then:

"Dave Matthews and company played New York's Central Park a number of years ago. During one of his conversations with the audience between songs, he reminded the massive crowd to "leave only your footprints". He was, of course, referring to people cleaning up after themselves and taking home anything they bought, received or brought with them.

That phrase works not only because it gives us all responsibility for cleaning up our own space, it also notes the impression of the footprints we leave in the places we go and the spaces we visit. It can also serve to remind us that we not only leave impressions as we travel, we also bring the impressions we form back to where we came from and, in many cases, share those thoughts with others.

"With the DMB Caravan rolling into town, I have a feeling Dave will have plenty to say to us both in word and song over this upcoming weekend. However, I think it is important to remember something as we all take a part in hosting this musically infused multi-day opportunity. To borrow a bit from what Dave told the New York audience, I would like to suggest in return for our visitors leaving only their footprints we all strive to leave a good impression on those who will be visiting our area for the shows."

That was then and this is now. Specifically, this is Sea.Hear.Now. In about a month, the Dave Matthews Band will headline the Sea.Hear.Now Festival in Asbury Park on Sept. 21 and 22 along with a stellar line-up of artists including The Lumineers, Dropkick Murphys, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, The B-52s, Cat Power, Bad Religion, Donovan Frankenreiter, Jake Clemons and many more.

When I attended last year’s Sea.Hear.Now inaugural concert in Asbury Park, all of the feeling that went into writing the “positive impressions” piece were on full display in the venue, volunteers and vibes that made up last year’s offering. The people behind Sea.Hear.Now, led by festival founders Danny Clinch and Tim Donnelly and concert promoter Tim Sweetwater, put together an amazing two days of music, food and festivities that brought the ocean and the Jersey Shore together and made a major impression on the thousands that attended.

As my Jersey Shore Dave Matthew Band experience comes full circle, I hope to see you and hear you at Sea.Hear.Now in Asbury Park. So Listen Up! and let’s remember that each of us has the ability to influence the success of the events and concerts we attend. Courtesy and solid pro-visitor and concertgoer etiquette can make an impression and keep people talking positively about the Jersey Shore, our events and everything we have to offer. We have the power to encourage individuals, groups and, of course, music festival participants to come back and visit with us again and again.

For more information and a complete list of artists and events, see seahearnowfestival.com.

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