By Carrie Hodousek
WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — Electronic Dance Music, also known as “EDM”, is becoming increasingly popular among this generation of teenagers.
“Very high energy, loud music, lots of bass, and it’s just tons of people dancing and having a great time,” says Dane Kunkel, Founder and CEO of BeachGlow: Concerts for Charity. Kunkel is a 19-year-old DJ from Yardley, PA, and a full-time student at the College of William and Mary.
Kunkel, known by the stage name Get KunKed, is hosting an all-day music festival on the Wildwood beach on Saturday, July 5th. With an expected 6,000-7,000 people in the crowd, all proceeds will go directly to benefit the American Red Cross for its support of the Jersey Shore in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
“I really love how everyone is coming together to help pull off a huge event for a great cause,” he said, “We chose the American Red Cross because they were the first responders at the scene helping the Jersey Shore recover. I thought it would be a great way to help give back and help fund future disasters if something were to occur. What we’re trying to do is make sure that these young adults are coming together to give back to the community and understand that giving back is a fun thing to do.”
Festival-goers can expect to see and hear 12 acts headlined by Get KunKed, Dvbbs, Kap Slap, and many more. Activities throughout the day will include a dunk tank for anyone who wants to participate or for those who want to dunk their favorite artist. Other activities include popular beach game tournaments, body painters near the entrance, and fireworks at night.
BeachGlow started out as a one-man show when Kunkel was a 16-year-old developing a passion for deejaying, after a soccer-related injury removed him from the field permanently. He then had the opportunity to deejay a charity event at the Pennington School where he attended.
“Parents, teachers, and families were all dancing and singing,” said Heather Kunkel, Dane’s mother and the Vice President and head of public relations at BeachGlow. “Everyone was doing this together, and that was the point where Dane sort of felt something. That’s when we were in the car driving home that night and he said, ‘You know what? I want to do this on a grander scale.'”
Becoming a family affair throughout the years, Kunkel now heads a board of directors including his father Gerard Kunkel who is President, his sister Brittany who is Vice President of Creative and Marketing, and a growing staff and many festival volunteers.
Gerard Kunkel says the family has always supported Dane, and they believe he has the background and the potential to make it in the entertainment business if he chooses to do so after he graduates, especially because he hasn’t given up on chasing his dream for two years to host this event.
“The city of Wildwood has been great in that they too want to make Wildwood very much a family destination, so the fact that Dane came in with this offer, they loved it,” said Kunkel. “The moment where it really struck a cord that this is really going to be real is when Coors Light signed up as a sponsor. They will be vending beer along with the fire department. I realized, wow, there are corporate organizations out there that like what he’s doing as well.”
Ryan Troiano, Director of Beach Services for the City of Wildwood, says when choosing the location of the concert it was hard to beat a place between the two piers at E. Garfield Avenue and the Boardwalk.
“One of the modern, but old-time roller coasters on one side, you have a Ferris wheel and lit-up swings, so it just creates a great backdrop for an event,” he said.
Feel free to join the party and contribute to the cause. As Dane says, “As individuals we can only do so much, together we can do anything.”
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