Catsbury Park Cat Convention returned to Asbury Park, NJ for its second year last weekend (4/12-4/14), bringing adoptable cats, vendors, tattooing, live music and DJs, panels, presentations, and more to Convention Hall, The Wonder Bar, and Paramount Theatre. 100% of proceeds from the convention go to Asbury Park-based 501(c)3 non-profit rescue Catsbury Park (which also runs a local cat cafe and tea house that you can visit year round), and its partner charities, which include The Brodie Fund, Milo’s Sanctuary, Jersey Shore Animal Foundation, and the Associated Humane Society of Tinton Falls. It was cat paradise inside Convention Hall, with vendors selling cat toys, treats, catnip, litter systems, and plenty of stuff for music fans to appreciate, like cat gear referencing AC/DC, Jawbreaker, Bruce Springsteen, and more. All vegan food vendors meant cruelty-free (and tasty!) food, and Neptune Tattoos had a tattooing area set up on the show floor where lots of people got some new ink.

Across the street from Convention Hall at The Wonder Bar were performances from some cat-related bands, including The Cure tribute supergroup The Love Cats (Alex Levine of The Gaslight Anthem and Dead Swords, Chris Gonzalez of The Loved Ones and The Explosion, and Catsbury Park founder DJ Bornschein), Lil BUB: The Band, all-metal tribute to The Bee Gees and beyond Tragedy, Cougrr, and "the cat rapper" IAmMoShow. Check out pictures of all of that and more in the gallery above.

Internet famous feline Lil BUB did a meet and greet with her many fans at the convention before heading to Paramount Theatre on Sunday for a rare live edition of her Big SHOW that featured appearances from Steve Albini, The Breeders' Kelley Deal, Fred Armisen, and Ozzy Osbourne bassist Blasko. We wrote more about that here, where you can watch BUB's guests perform a song for her.

Next up, the Catsbury Park Cat Convention heads to Philadelphia in fall of 2019. More details about that are coming soon, but meanwhile read a message from the convention founders about the 2019 NJ edition:

Thank you all so very much. Year two was another smashing success, and we couldn’t have done it without each an every attendee, volunteer, vendor, panelist, celebrity cat, too many people to name. We had to overcome a massive fire on the boardwalk, flooding in the venue, a rainstorm on Saturday morning and a vendor trying to promote declawing (know your audience). But despite it all, the spirit and positivity of our wonderful cat community came together and brought a wonderful energy to our little city by the sea. Thank you for continuing to believe in our vision of what a cat rescue can be in 2019. This all started as a small rescue which we ran out of a spare bedroom 4 years ago and now here we are. We can’t thank you enough..❤️
On to Philadelphia!!


photos by Nick Karp (for Catsbury Park) and Amanda Hatfield

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