Summer Rocks On at PNC Arts Center

Monmouth County concert venue has complete roster of shows into September.

How many shows at the PNC Arts Center have you seen? If you live in New Jersey, the chances are good you’ve seen at least one. Was it the reunion of The Who? Was it Paul Simon and Brian Wilson, or maybe Elvis Costello and The Police? Squeeze or Rush? The open-air auditorium has been a staple of New Jersey summertime entertainment and has been wowing visitors far and wide for decades.

Paul Davon, while not directly affiliated with the Arts Center, was so impressed he took it upon himself to get the word out about it.

“In 2009, I visited New Jersey on holiday and heard great things about the Arts Center, so I went to watch Toby Keith and it was awesome," said Davon, a theater devotee and webmaster for PNCArtsCenter.com. "This year when I started learning Web design, and noticed the Arts Center didn't have a site, I figured I would make one to give people an idea about the good time I experienced.”

“Turns out the event promotion is fun, and I love running the site,” Davon said of pncbankartscenter.com, which exists with the blessing of the venue even though it is a separate entity (PNC Arts Center works in conjunction with LiveNation and Ticketmaster).

We've picked PNC Arts Center for this installment of Day Tripper, a weekly look at destinations that are out of town, but in reach, and worth the trip … but you’ve probably been making plans to get there already!


Why it’s Worth the Trip: New Jersey has no shortage of great places to hear live music, from small clubs to big theaters, but the PNC Arts Center not only features top acts in an outdoor setting, but does so in an impressively constructed space. You’ll enjoy the show but you’ll also be impressed by the venue itself.

How to Get There from Here: Click "get directions" on the map provided above and type in your location, and then click the "get directions" button.

You’ll Probably Get Hungry: “Tailgating parties are allowed; it is always best to phone the box office in advance because it varies per event,” said Davon. There are concessions inside the auditorium, but because the theater is situated on the Garden State Parkway (literally!), quick rides into Holmdel proper will get you to several places to eat before the show. The Commons at Holmdel offers Houlihan’s, It’s Greek To Me, Saladworks, Piazza Italia, and if you want to read with a cup of coffee, the Barnes and Noble Bookstore in the shopping center has an on-site Starbucks. Of course, there are plenty of other stores and restaurants to choose from relatively close to the Garden State Parkway.

While You’re in the Area: Just as you can get food at various stores off the GSP onto Route 35, you can also spend your early day checking out Holmdel Park ( as a previous Day Tripper entry) or take a little longer ride to visit the beachfront attraction Keansburg Amusement Park. You can also access the Monmouth Mall by staying southbound a bit longer on the GSP, exiting onto Route 36. That will also take you to Monmouth Park racetrack. While you’re in Holmdel, drive by the former Bell Labs to see the imposing “Transistor” water tower which, true to description, towers over the landscape.

“The PNC has been open since 1968, although back then it was called the Garden State Arena, (later the Garden State Arts Center),” said Davon. “Back then, they mainly played classical music, until the 1990s when they increased the lawn area, and updated their concerts.”

The lawn seats are the best bargain for the money-conscious showgoer, and most shows can accommodate a lot of people, so it is rare that you will not be able to get to the show of your choice.

“Obviously it is (priced per) event, but unless there is a big star on/festival, the prices usually range from $40 lawn to $500-700 (front of the house).”

Although the concert season is in full-swing, there are still plenty of shows to fill the summer nights.

“Usually the average season ranges from 20 to 30 shows, and this year there are 25 shows on the card,” Davon said.

The remainder of the 2012 season includes:

July 13
$36.50 (GA), $38 (Reserved) $40 (DOS)
On Sale Now

July 14
$39.50 - $99.50
On Sale May 5 at 10 a.m.

SUMMERLAND TOUR featuring Everclear, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms, Lit, and Marcy Playground
July 21
$25 - $59.50

July 25
$35.35 - $99.50
On Sale May 5 at 10 a.m.

July 28
$25 - $125
On Sale May 5 at 10 a.m.

Aug. 2
$30 - $85
On Sale May 5 at 10 a.m.

Aug. 4
$36.25 - $65
On Sale May 5 at 10 a.m.

Brantley Gilbert, Thomas Rhett
Aug. 17
$20 - $74
On Sale Now

Cody Simpson
Aug. 18
$20 - $69.50
On Sale Now

Aug. 19
$21 - $150.50
On Sale May 5 at 10 a.m.

Cypress Hill, Pepper
Aug. 21
$19.50 - $65
On Sale May 5 at 10 a.m.

Carolina Liar
Aug. 26
$26.25 - $85
On Sale Now

Christina Perri
Aug. 31
$23 - $65
On Sale Now

Luke Bryan
Sept. 6
$35 - $63.75
On Sale Soon!

Sept. 21
$30 - $151
On Sale Now

For more information, check out Paul Davon’s site, pncbankartscenter.com. To purchase tickets, visit LiveNation.com.

rose matt July 07, 2012 at 01:47 PM
they also have senior shows at NO charge
Longtimeresident July 07, 2012 at 05:16 PM
How do you completely neglect to mention the Uproar Festival? Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind, Papa Roach, and that's just most of the main stage. Aug. 24, 22.75 - 89.75. Also Slipknot Aug. 8.
gary lotus July 08, 2012 at 02:54 AM
rock the bells? blunts and bone thugs?


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