Stage to stay dark at Starland after Sandy strikes Sayreville

SAYREVILLE — In the weeks since Post-Tropical Storm Sandy hit the Jersey Shore, the floodwaters have receded, downed trees have been removed from the roads, and most of the coastline has begun the arduous task of rebuilding.

However, at the Starland Ballroom, a popular concert venue on Jernee Mill Road in Sayreville, the stage is dark and the lights, as well as other necessary facilities, will be off for the next couple of months.

“Starland suffered flood damage from Sandy,” Sayreville construction official Kirk Miick told Greater Media Newspapers. “They had extensive damage to electrical systems throughout the premises.”

According to a statement from Starland Ballroom, other systems damaged in the storm include the venue’s heating and cooling system, plumbing, and the lighting and sound systems.

“The damaged equipment is not something you can pick up at Home Depot,” Miick said.

Although a Starland Ballroom representative declined to comment on the extent of the damage, a prepared statement cited “the demand for these [replacement] components in the regional housing and commercial sectors” as another major reason for the closure.

“We don’t want people to focus or gawk at damage to a music venue, so much as we’d like everyone to concentrate on the lives and homes being rebuilt here in Sayreville,” venue spokesman Jon Vena said.

Concerts at Starland are not scheduled to resume until March 29 at the earliest. Nearly 30 national acts had to cancel dates or relocate to other venues in the region.

“We regret that any of these shows are going away, but not as much as we regret the pain, suffering and destruction experienced by our customers throughout the Garden State,” the venue’s operators said. “Canceling or postponing Starland shows is always our last resort.”

Ticket holders have had the opportunity to return their tickets for a full refund or redeem them at the relocated events for admission. Season pass members, who are allotted a certain number of tickets in a calendar year for one price, are being afforded the chance to use their 2012 passes in 2013.

Next year marks Starland’s 10th anniversary. In anticipation, a number of renovations are expected to take place at the venue.

According to the release, the renovations will draw on “inspiration from all of our New Jersey neighbors” impacted by the storm. Suggestions are being taken from concertgoers via info@starlandballroom.com.

“Much like the spirit of New Jersey, you can’t stop rock ’n’ roll,” the statement read. “And we don’t intend to.”

— Andrew Martins