Asbury Venues
The Legacy Lives On
The Stone Pony has been an icon of rock for over four decades. and it shows no signs of letting up anytime soon. We spoke with GM Caroline O’Toole about the venue’s iconic past and plans for the future.

Asbury Park is widely known for the prolific music and arts scene, dating back decades. The Stone Pony factors largely into this reputation. In 2019, how does The Stone Pony work to preserve this legacy?

We are always evolving the type of music we present, as well as doing events other than music. We just hosted the second annual Women's Convention, and its success lets us see things that would not have worked years ago and can work now.

At the same time, Asbury Park is in a period of change. How does The Stone Pony fit into this? Does it change along with the times or commit itself to its “old school” legacy?

A venue cannot survive on one type of music. Although the musical history of Asbury Park is very important to us, it is not solely what we can do. Our continued relationship with Live Nation helps to keep us in the changing times, by being able to access the artists and music for all types of concert fans.

What are some of the most exciting recent acts to come to The Stone Pony? Most exciting acts set to play in the near future?

We're really excited for Greta Van Fleet. Any show that can sell over 4,500 tickets in an hour is obviously an act many, many people are going to be very happy to see. We also have Yo La Tengo coming; they have never played here before. Since it’s the 45th anniversary of The Stone Pony, we are trying to make it a very special year. Other artists coming who have never played here before are Squeeze, Tash Sultana, and the John Butler Trio.

The New York Times refers to The Stone Pony as “the beating heart of Asbury Park.” Would you say that this is still the case?

For the NYT to say something like that is beyond flattering, but to me the real beating heart of Asbury Park is the fans who come here specifically for the music history as well as the current music scene. There are so many choices out there. For The Stone Pony and all the other venues to be places where these fans choose to go is the reason we keep going.

How did you become the manager of The Stone Pony?

A friend of mine asked me to apply for the job. I had not been in the bar business in a long time and never in the concert industry. Once I was offered the position, turning it down was something I did not want to end up regretting. I was right, and fifteen years later I still get to do this!

What is your hope for the future?

I hope for the future, our music history continues to be the story. I want all our kids to thrive in our community, and all our visitors to keep coming here because Asbury Park is one of the greatest places in our country. It will be an honor to watch The Stone Pony continue to be a part of all that is yet to be.

Don’t miss the Stone Pony Summer Stage. When the weather turns warm, we bring the action outside for cool breezes, beach vibes, and killer bands.

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