The concerts and the organization began as a birthday party in November 1998 to celebrate the 40th birthday of artist manager and music industry veteran Bob Benjamin. Benjamin had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, and in lieu of gifts, asked that donations be made to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. Over $2,000 was raised that night. Spurred by the generosity and support, Benjamin reached out to friends, including concert promoter Tony Pallagrosi and musician Joe D’Urso, and formed the Light of Day charity, taking its name from a Bruce Springsteen song.
The first official Light of Day concert was held at Asbury Park, NJ’s legendary Stone Pony in November 2000 and primarily featured local, unsigned artists. The critically acclaimed Pittsburgh-based band Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers (managed by Benjamin) headlined the show, which featured a surprise appearance by local hero Bruce Springsteen, who joined the Houserockers for a raucous hour-long set.
Over the years Light of Day has grown from a one-day event into a five-day festival in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area. More significantly, Light of Day has expanded into an internationally recognized tour, through a true grassroots effort of musicians, music fans and benefactors. Light of Day shows take place around the world, including six shows in Canada and a two week December trek through Europe, with stops in England, Wales, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Spain and more. Portions of the proceeds from each show are donated to a local Parkinson's organization.