OCEAN CITY – With the Dew Tour less than a week away, the town is in preparation mode for the event, while organizers announce the headliner for the free concert on the beach next Saturday night.
The Pantech Open, the first stop of four stops of the 2011 Dew Tour, opens in Ocean City this Thursday with qualifying competitions. The event runs through Sunday, July 24.
Hip Hop artist Kid Cudi will perform on the beach during the Dew Tour’s free concert on Saturday night. His first album “Man on the Moon: The End of Day” was released by Universal Motown. The album opened at No. 4 on the Billboard charts in September of 2009. In 2010, he released his second album, “Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Rager”, which featured Kanye West, Mary J. Blige and GLC. To date, Kid Cudi has sold over 4.6 million digital singles and earned critical acclaim for his cinematic lyricism.
Also performing on Saturday night will be The Cool Kids, “a sound fusing old school and new school sounds of hip hop,” according to marketing materials. In the last few years, the group has opened for Lil Wayne, MIA, and Girl Talk. Also performing will be Dean’s List, a trio from Boston, Mass. which won its spot on the Dew Tour stage through a contest on Whooznext.com.
“We’re excited to kick-off the 2011 Dew Tour in a way we never have in the past,” Dew Tour General Manager Chris Prybylo said. “The Dew Tour will be bringing the best in skate and BMX in the world to Ocean City beach for a weekend of intense competition, music and fun.”
The Pantech Open of the Dew Tour will feature extreme sport athletes, such as Shaun White, Pierre-Luc Gagnon, Bucky Lasek, and Ryan Nyquist, in their featured sports category. The event will also feature the free live concert on the beach, a free Festival Village and a free surfing contest.
The Dew Tour consists of four major, multi-sport events spanning across the country, with a cumulative points system, more than $2 million in event and bonus purses, awarded at year-end based on overall tour standings. At the season’s end, the overall points leaders in the five categories — skateboarding, BMX, skateboard bowl, surf, and freestyle motorcross — will be crowned year-end champions and awarded the respected Dew Cup.
The event’s setup will be on the beach just north of the Ocean City Pier downtown. The tour and city staff has been working together for the last couple of weeks preparing for the main event. Many tractor trailers have been coming in under the night sky delivering the materials for the set up.
On Thursday, The Dispatch spoke with Ocean City Deputy Public Works Director Dick Malone as he was out on the beach with many construction crews hard at work creating the grounds of the venue.
“We have had minor setbacks,” Malone said. “These guys have done a great job recovering. They do this all the time and nothing in a build out like this goes completely like planned … they have a lot of their own people that does this all the time and they hired a bunch of local people.”
On Thursday morning, crews began pouring the concrete in the skate bowl, and completed about a quarter of it. The other sections of the bowl will be poured throughout the rest of the week. The skate bowl created on Ocean City’s beach will be removed in pieces and taken to the other stops of the tour.
Yesterday morning, crews were building the bleachers around the skate bowl and they were completing the bleachers around the BMX Park. They had also begun constructing the entrance arches to the event. Malone said installing the footers or the bases of the venues is the most difficult part because of the sand. The footers of the skate vert ramp were being installed yesterday as well.
“There is somewhere around 55 people out here right now and those are just the ones I see from where I’m standing,” Malone said. “All of the venues are being worked on simultaneously at this point.”
Malone added the building process was at about the 30 to 35 percent completion zone on Thursday morning but he has no doubt everything will be finished in time. He explained the midnight crew works up until about 8 a.m., and the daytime crew takes over around 9 a.m. to about 5 p.m.
“There is some hours in there we’re not working and hopefully we won’t have to but as it gets towards the end of the week we can fill those times,” he said. “If we had a huge storm, we would still get done.”
Malone estimated the venue’s final touches should be close to complete by Monday afternoon or Tuesday.
“I am out in the field being part of something that is huge,” he said. “This is fun … I live for this stuff.”
The mass amounts of visitors the event is predicting to bring into Ocean City is sure to keep traffic busy over the weekend so the town encourages those attending the Dew Tour to take municipal buses to the event downtown.
A shuttle service will also be available Thursday through Sunday from the Ocean City Convention Center’s south parking lot on 40th street. The service will operate from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. through Saturday, and 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
A downtown bus service loop will also be provided during the event to serve those coming from 28th Street South to the South Transit Station on South Division Street. The Coastal Highway bus, shuttles, and downtown loop will all cost $3 for an all-day pass or $1 per boarding.
If you’re coming into Ocean City from Route 50, or West Ocean City, the Park ‘N Ride will be available for $1 all-day service. The shuttle runs from the Park N Ride location to the South Transit Station downtown.