Exclusive Interview: 19-Year-Old BeachGlow Event’s CEO Dane Kunkel

Southern New Jersey is home to a growing dance music festival that aims to give back. BeachGlow came from then 16-year-old Dane Kunkel. After playing at a high school charity event, Dane spoke with his father, Gerard, about the dance music scene and how it can help others. From there, BeachGlow took off. Now, it’s a family affair as well. Dane is joined by Gerard (President), his mother Heather (VP, PR), and sister Brittany (VP, Advertising and creative). The team now has over a dozen managers and others looking to pitch in, all as volunteers.

We spoke with Dane and Gerard as they prepare for their July 5th event in Wildwood, NJ.

Most 16-year-olds aren’t setting up charitable events like this. How did it happen?

BG 2014 Official Poster_8.5x11_finalDane Kunkel: When I was 16 I was asked by my school to do a HomeFront charity party during Christmas time. The underprivileged kids loved it and were dancing with the prep school kids. I went home that night saying, “Mom, Dad I want to do something more with this. It was great seeing all those kids dance while I play my music. Through this I want to bring the 18-24 generation to love music and love giving back at the same time.

Was age a hurdle for you as the CEO?

DK: I mean, yeah. Our first real event, we took to an arena in Trenton, NJ. I called a bunch of venues in the area, Philadelphia and New Jersey. Some blew me off. Some I didn’t tell them my age. Eventually, we ended up meeting with the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton. The General Manager found out I wasn’t 18 when I went in. I brought my dad along as the legal tie-in.

Gerard Kunkel: And co-signer.

DK: It wasn’t too hard. I didn’t tell any agents I was under 18 when booking artists. I didn’t tell the venues. But going to the press, we did publicize to the press that I was 16 at the time.

DVBBS is headlining this year. What else can fans expect from the bill?

DK: Kap Slap will be headlining the undercard. Gazzo and Kasum are on as well. They’re both great, up-and-coming artists. For headliners we look across the country. For the opening spots we go with local acts. The middle spots, we usually search the east coast. We have a good spread on the country right now.

How do you set the bill up?

DK: We try to mix it up. For our last event we had rap and electronic music. For this event we’re all electronic. For our headliner, more bass-heavy or festival type music. The undercard is more melodic and chill stuff in the afternoon. Give a little sample for everybody.

Dane aka Get KunKed on the decks

Dane aka Get KunKed on the decks

You guys are going on the beach for the first time. How does that change things from previous events?

DK: Wow, well the beach is much more appealing than being inside an arena or parking lot.

GK: You can see it in the social media we’re seeing online. You can see how many people are jazzed about going to the beach, being in the sand, in the sun and listening to EDM.

DK: Also, having BeachGlow on the beach, it’s what it’s made for. Some obstacles will be the venue set up, getting everything onto the beach. Granted, Wildwood is a huge beach but it’s still tough to get it on the beach and set up during the July 4th weekend.

Guys, the floor is yours. What have you got for our fans?

DK: Definitely come out to the event! It’s going to be a great event. We’re bigger and better each year.

GK: Based upon Dane’s original tagline, “There’s only so much you can do as an individual, together we can do anything,” I think it’s a great rallying cry for this community. Go out and have a great time. Be safe. Do the right thing. When you come to our event just know that you’re giving back to a great cause. Each time we go out we find a great charity. Now it’s for the American Red Cross.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep66oVoBn3A]

Join the discussion

comments powered by Disqus