Next month, when thousands of delegates and politicians descend on Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention, they'll be invited to cross the river.
Lady Gaga, Lenny Kravitz, and DJ Jazzy Jeff will perform at a free concert for DNC attendees at the BB&T Pavilion on the Camden waterfront July 28, the last day of the convention. The invitation-only event will be held in the afternoon, hours before Hillary Clinton is expected to accept the party's nomination for president.
George E. Norcross III, the millionaire hospital and insurance executive and Democratic superdelegate often described as New Jersey's most influential political leader, confirmed Tuesday that he is hosting the concert along with Democratic strategist Susan McCue and Philly Voice, a news site founded by Norcross and run by his daughter, Lexie.
Tickets for the "Camden Rising" show will be made available to convention delegates and other guests, according to Norcross, including President Obama and his wife, Michelle; former Secretary of State Clinton and her husband, President Bill Clinton; and Vice President Biden and his wife, Jill. Democratic elected officials and party leaders from around the country also will be invited.
"We wanted to say thank you to the hardworking women and men who have made the Democratic Party truly representative of America," George Norcross said in a statement. "With the Philadelphia skyline in the background, it is a perfect time to bring Camden out of the shadows for the country to see what can be done to rebuild even the most troubled of our cities."
The 25,000-seat outdoor venue is accessible by the PATCO High-Speed Line and the NJ Transit River Line, as well as the RiverLink ferry from Center City, though it would take longer for anyone making the trip from the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia, where many DNC events will be held.
Security at the venue is typically provided by the county Sheriff's Department. Camden County spokesman Dan Keashen said local authorities are coordinating with the Secret Service.
LiveNation will produce the concert, the statement said.
The concert will be funded by Convention 2016, according to Norcross, an account of the Washington-based General Majority PAC, which funds efforts to get Democrats elected. McCue is president of General Majority PAC as well as a cofounder of the Senate Majority PAC. Last fall, the General Majority PAC spent more than $1 million on New Jersey's legislative races for November's Assembly elections.
Norcross and his brother Donald, a congressman representing New Jersey's First District, have made good use of their connections to the national Democratic Party. In May 2015, President Obama visited Camden and praised the county police department as a symbol of promise for urban communities. George Norcross, who had advocated for the former Camden City police department to be dismantled as a cost-cutting measure, sat near the front of the audience.
Earlier this month, Obama endorsed Donald Norcross for reelection, an unusual move in a seemingly safe primary race that pitted Norcross against a 25-year-old candidate who had never before run for office.
And after a rally in Blackwood last month, Hillary Clinton's only other campaign stop was at Cooper Hospital's MD Anderson Cancer Center in Camden, where she talked health care with a small group of doctors, nurses and administrators. George Norcross is the chairman of the Cooper board.