Event Info


Get ready for another three days of culture, engagement, and fun for the entire family! 

SouthNEXT is an annual, weekend-long festival featuring local artists, speakers, performers and musicians who come together at the intersection of art and ideas in the dynamic and diverse community of South Orange, NJ. Festival-goers can choose from dozens of activities, performances, and presentations designed to provoke the mind and inspire the spirit.

Now in its third year, SouthNEXT will KickOFF on SOPAC’s three floors, then feature an outdoor beer garden, regional bands, talks and panel discussions, interactive art installations, children’s activities and more – all within a one-square-block area of South Orange. All are welcome to join this freewheeling celebration of ideas, culture, and community.

Your ticket to over a dozen musical performances and more than 20 engaging panels and discussions is the SouthNext all access wristband.  Get yours today and get ready to Create & Collide in South Orange, New Jersey.


St. Barnabas Big Top, Seton Hall Pavilion, Performance Tents, Escape Game
Sloan St. Parking Lot
South Orange, NJ 07079
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South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC)

The Main Stage and The Loft
1 Sopac Way
South Orange, NJ 07079
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South Mountain Yoga

18 South Orange Avenue, 2nd floor
South Orange, NJ 07079
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Getting Here

Public Parking is available throughout the Village.
Please obey all posted signs.

New Jersey Transit South Orange Train Station is located within our downtown. For a detailed schedule see link:



We’re Under the Big Top

Ringling Bros. has staged its final performance, but the circus lives on inside all of us. Once the circus was a place we went to see THEM: the freaks, the magicians, the clowns and daredevils. But over time, we realized and embraced the fact that THEM were really US.

At this year’s SouthNEXT, enter a magical realm where we celebrate the circus in our modern lives:  embracing our differences, leveraging uniqueness in leadership, lifting the veil between the material and the spiritual, and maximizing our physical potential.


All circuses have music and SouthNEXT delivers plenty of it, from soul to symphony, across multiple venues.  What’s a circus without clowns and acrobats?  SouthNEXT will not only entertain you with laughter and oohs and aahs, but let you give it a try and maybe even take home a new skill.  Plus we look at how comedy, arts and entertainers have transformed our world for centuries and will create the promise for our future.


Once, we drew a line between the scientific and the spiritual, but now we often explore the world beyond our immediate senses, just as the circus encourages us to suspend disbelief if only for a short time. SouthNEXT presents a series of immersive sessions which will transport you to the magical zone between the known and the unknown to enable a spiritual and physical awakening.


Once, we expected our leaders to look very much like each other, and we had a clear shared understanding about what that looked like. Every day since then, that’s been changing, and the man in the red topcoat and hat isn’t necessarily the vision of leadership today.  SouthNEXT explores the past and future of leadership and how being different makes us better leaders and how we can embrace our unique qualities in an increasingly public world.


The circus elephant symbolizes so much in many cultures and SouthNEXT celebrates this majestic beast all weekend long.  From sessions dedicated to the Hindu deity Ganesh to a reading and celebration of the iconic picture book which tells the story of how PT Barnum used elephants to prove the safety of the new Brooklyn Bridge, we’ll look at the mighty elephant from all angles. And most impressively, we’ll work together as a community to build Jumbo, our own life-size sculpture that will come to life over the course of the festival and be transformed in our finale ritual.


It all sounds as wondrous as the circus, doesn’t it?  So buy your all-access wristband today!