Live at the Lumberyard - Bringing Music Back to Your Yard

By Jenna Firshein

With music playing such a big part in our lives, we pay hundreds of dollars to see our favorite bands, listen to their music, and be surrounded by people who want to hear them too.  What happens if your favorite bands were your best friends and they were playing in your backyard? 

That is what is happening all over Jersey City.  There is music in the parks, Groove on Grove (, and Live at the Lumberyard and more.  Bands are able to perform and grow their fan base from their home base and we in turn are exposed to different types of music. 

Live at the Lumberyard was started 5 years ago as a way to participate in JC Fridays ( a city-wide, arts events.  Becky Hoffman, the then president of the Riverview Neighborhood Organization ( reached out to Danny Groff, the owner of Palisade Lumber (  Danny Groff said let’s try it and it turned out to be a huge success even though the 1st event was rained out.  Even with a short set, the name of the event was solidified by Al Festa from the Benson Ridge Project (  After his set he said, “Thanks for coming to Live at the Lumberyard.”

Every year they are surprised by the local and not so local support.  People will come for the entire evening to just hang out, eat food from the food trucks, talk with neighbors, and listen to the great music.  They are also surprised with the press the event gets and the participation of the bands.  This year they had to turn bands away, even ones that have played every year, to make room for “new” local bands. 

This Friday, Sept 2nd is the last show of 5 for the year and it has been a great one. This is definitely a great way to start off Labor Day!

RNA has brought on a team of local experts who run this event seamlessly every time.  Nick Ciabatta ( and Gerald Lucas ( produce the event and MC the event.  They work the bands and set the schedule with RNA.  They have hired a sound person so they can focus on producing the event.  They also work with the DJs and visual artists who have performances in-between sets. 

Big should out to the sponsors of the entire summer:

Palisade Lumber

Hudson County LAP grant

JCity Realty (

The Fox and Crow ( -- they also host the afterparty 

Remco Press ( -- does all the printing as is a local printing and graphics design company.

Afterparty at The Fox and Crow


About the Writer

Jenna Firshein is the Founder of  Read her full bio here