07/19/2009 11:38 AM
BALLOON FESTIVAL OFFERS MUSIC FOR EVERYONE
READINGTON, NJ --- The 27th annual Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Association with PNC Bank, the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America, is known for its outstanding live musical performances as much as for the colorful hot air balloons that take to the skies each summer. This year’s concert lineup continues that tradition.
Headlining the July 24-25-26 event at Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ are 5-time Grammy Award winner Michael McDonald, Kool & The Gang, Beach Boys co-founder Al Jardine, and a kid’s concert double-bill with Disney pop star Meaghan Martin and newest boy band One Call.
“We’re proud to continue to make it affordable for people to enjoy a great day of family entertainment, spectacular balloons and the biggest names in music,” said Festival executive producer Howard Freeman.
New Jersey Skylands Insurance presents Al Sardine’s Endless Summer Band on Friday, July 24 at 8:00 p.m. Jardine was the Beach Boys rhythm guitarist and harmony vocalist and sang lead on many of their 36 Top 40 hits including the No. 1 smash, “Help Me, Rhonda.” He helped create their legendary sound that would go on to make them the No. 1 selling American rock band of all time with hits such as “I Get Around”, “California Girls”, “Catch A Wave”, “Barbara Ann”, “Dance, Dance, Dance,” “Fun, Fun, Fun”, “Good Vibrations” and “Kokomo.”
Meaghan Martin, who starred with past Festival performers the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato in the Disney Channel Original Movie Camp Rock and who is starring in the ABC Family television series 10 Things I Hate About You, heads the Festival’s 2-for-1 Kids Concert Spectacular on Saturday, July 25.
One Call, the newest boy band from music impresario Johnny Wright (*NSYNC, Backstreet Boys), will meet fans and perform beginning at 1:00 p.m. Saturday. Fing’rs Edge presents Meaghan Martin in concert at 3:00 p.m. in association with AM 1560 Radio Disney. She will then meet-and-greet fans following her performance.
Kool &The Gang, who have sold more than 70 million records worldwide with 31 gold or platinum albums, will perform their 40th Anniversary Concert Celebration Saturday night, July 25 at 8:00 p.m. in conjunction with the Festival’s nighttime hot air balloon glow.
Formed in the 1960s with a group of neighborhood friends from Jersey City, Kool & the Gang combined the earthiness of soul with jazz and R&B and hit the pop and R&B charts with the hits “Celebration”, “Ladies Night”, “Joanna”, “Cherish”, “Jungle Boogie”, “Hollywood Swinging” and the R&B anthem “Fresh.”
PNC Bank presents Grammy-winning superstar Michael McDonald on Sunday, July 26 at 3:00 p.m. The gold and platinum selling R&B/soul singer and songwriter is known for his award-winning work as a member of The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan and as a solo artist.
Possessing a distinctive, husky soulful baritone, McDonald’s hits include “What A Fool Believes,” which won four Grammy awards including Song of The Year and Record of The Year; “Minute By Minute”, “Takin’ It To The Streets”, and “It Keeps You Runnin’.” He also received two Grammy nominations for his platinum-selling Motown tribute album which featured the classics “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”, and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.”
Keeping with the Festival’s family theme, his son Dylan McDonald will open for him at 2:30 p.m.
Blue Sky Club VIP tickets, which include Festival admission, reserved concert seats, priority viewing of the balloons along the flight line and VIP parking, are $50-$65 each. Three-day VIP tickets are $149, a savings of more than $30.
General admission tickets, which include Festival admission and lawn seating for the concerts, are $7 in advance for children ages 4-12 ($10 at the gate) and $17 in advance for adults ($25 at the gate). Children ages 3 and under are free.
Advance tickets available through midnight, Thursday, July 23.
Tickets for the 2-for-1 Kids Concert Spectacular, which include Festival admission, reserved concert seating and priority for the meet-and-greets, are $25 for children and $35 for adults.