Annual New Jersey Rock Carnival features live music, food trucks


The Rock Carnival includes food trucks, live music, amusement rides, pig races and more. Photo via Facebook/SetonVillageSO

As the first day of fall approaches, the popular summer season of outdoor concerts is winding down.

However, there is at least one more opportunity to grab a drink and enjoy the tail end of summer before the burden of midterms.

The Food Truck and Rock Carnival will be at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30 and at 12 p.m. on Oct. 1 and Oct. 2 at First Energy Park in Lakewood, N.J with acts ranging from Alice Cooper, to the translucent vibes of Blue Oyster Cult.

Seton Hall students on a strict budget can enjoy the carnival area for $14.99 or choose from a variety of festival general admission tickets starting at $44.99.

Last year, John D’Esposito, a band promoter, organized the first Food Truck and Rock Carnival, a multi-day event which includes food trucks, craft beer, live music, amusement rides and more.

According to the Rock Carnival website, there will be more than 50 food trucks surrounding the stadium, including Empanada Guy, Tacoholics and Callahan’s.

The Rock Carnival has also partnered with micro-breweries, offering craft beers from around the country.


The Rock Carnival and food truck festival is an annual event held in Clark, New Jersey. Photo via Facebook/SetonHallSO

“I attended the Rock Carnival last year and really enjoyed it, from the food trucks to the comedy tent,” said Garren Lewis, a junior history major. “I enjoyed seeing some of my favorite bands live. I wish they came through Clark again this year, but I will definitely still try to get down to the festival.”

As D’Esposito launches the second annual carnival, he is planning a weekend full of food, fun and rock-n-roll designed for every age and music enthusiast.

“We can’t wait,” said Anthony De Lucia Jr., who is playing in Alive! ‘75, a tribute to rock legends KISS. “We are really looking forward to it and excited to play to a wide range of ages.”

This year’s festivities will begin with featured tribute bands Alive! ’75 (KISS) and Almost Queen (Queen), headliner Alice Cooper, and opening acts, Zakk Sabbath, Clutch and Blue Oyster Cult.

“People are seeing a 1975 creation,” De Lucia said. “We are going to bring everything we can (to include) the smoking guitar and fire breathing. We are extremely excited to be part of something like this because of the wide variety of acts and the opportunity to play in front of a new crowd.”

Clutch was well received on last year’s bill for the carnival.

The Clutch drummer, Jean-Paul Gaster, said they were excited to come back and perform at the carnival.

“It’s fun, it’s outdoors and we get to walk around and check out the other events too,” Gaster, said. “We really enjoy playing festivals. It gives us the opportunity to play for new people.”

On Saturday, the festival will include bands such as Zebra, Monster Magnet, Jackyl, Killcode, Punky Meadows, Ace Frehley, Overkill, Daughtry and Twisted Sister, who will be making their final area appearance at the show.

Randy Gregg of Zebra said he loves getting to perform live, on-stage.

“Younger kids get out to see us, so the music has definitely lasted,” Gregg said. “I think it’s going to be a cool show and I was excited to get the call to do it. We’re going to cram the best 50 minutes we can and give people a good taste of what we are.”

Sunday wraps up the performances with an abundance of artists such as Legion, Bullet Boys, Trixter, Doro, Cinderella’s Tom Kiefer, Sebastian Bach, Life of Agony, The Used and Halestorm.
Artie Maglio of Legion said most of the songs they will be performing are from their new album.

“We have a good set for 30 minutes and we’re used to playing in the Jersey area, so we’re ready to go,” Maglio said. “Our chemistry is perfect and it helps a lot in the studio and onstage. The festival is being held in our hometown, so we’re really looking forward to bringing it.”

Trixter bassist P.J. Farley said that performing at the carnival is special to them because the band is from New Jersey.

“They wanted us this year to have some local boys on the bill,” Farley said. “These types of shows are a lot of fun and we’re blessed to be able to do it. You can expect a blistering set of fun rock and roll played by the four original members of Trixter. I’m looking forward to a good time.”

Rock Carnival giveaway tickets have also been featured on local radio stations.

Katherine Wilson can be reached at

Author: Katherine Wilson

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