Gay-themed party festival to hit the Jersey Shore

Gay-themed party festival to hit the Jersey Shore

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Ascension Party, the three-day party festival that draws thousands of men from around the world, is making its debut in Asbury Park Aug. 4-6. 

Now in its 12th year, Ascension launched in 2006 on Fire Island Pines, where it ran annually until 2014. For the last two years, the party relocated to Mykonos in Greece. 

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Ascension founder and president Eric Von Kuersteiner said demand brought the festival back to the states.

“A lot of our customers have been to Ascension before in the states and they really wanted us to bring it back,” Von Kuersteiner said when asked why Asbury Park was chosen to host. “We look around at different areas and I thought that Asbury Park really was a great place. They’ve been doing a lot of investment there and there’s a lot to do and the beach is beautiful. So we thought it would be a great fit. The host hotel there was really receptive to having us. They did a $50-million renovation. So it all worked out.”

Host The Asbury Hotel, 210 Fifth Ave., opened last summer.

The festival will feature music by DJ Eddie Martinez, DJ Lina, DJ Dani Toro, DJ Hansel, DJ Paulo, Dan Slater and many more, with other performers yet to be announced. 

“We always have some act that will come on but we’ll be announcing that within the next few weeks,” Von Kuersteiner said. “That will be at the main party on Saturday.”

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Putting together a festival isn’t an easy task these days and, given the times we live in, there is always news of public gatherings like this running into some kind of complications or controversy (do a quick news search of The Electric Daisy Carnival or the Fyre Festival for examples). But Von Kuersteiner said that, in his 12 years of producing the festival, organizers have never had any instances where events have threatened the good times of the attendees. 

“We’ve never had one issue or incident of anyone getting hurt or an overdose problem,” he said. “There’s never been a fight. We’ve never had an issue as far as the safety of our attendees. We’re working with local police departments and we’re going to have a lot of undercover police there as well as checkpoints. We don’t allow people to bring in backpacks or bags. We’re always vigilant; you have to be these days. But we’ve never had an issue as far as safety goes.” 

Von Kuersteiner added that while there are a lot of similar themed events to be had out there, Ascension stands out for its entertainment value — whether people stay for the whole weekend or take in just one day of revelry.

“You don’t want to have the same weekend of another established event,” he said. “I don’t think we have anything that’s competing on our weekend. People want value. They want to have a good time. They want to have fun. So as long as we provide that at a good value, we’ll always do well. Most people come for the whole weekend but I would say if people are only coming for one event, they come for the Saturday daytime party. In general, most people come for the whole weekend.” 

Ascension Party takes place Aug. 4-6 at Asbury Park. For more information or tickets, visit ascensionparty.com.


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