Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

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The rumor mill is in full swing regarding the bands or potential bands who may be coming to Ocean City next June for the first-ever High-Tide Music Festival.

Understandably so, the promoter is keeping details private, but it’s known at a recent Tourism Advisory Board meeting the name of the band Phish was floated as a possible act for the June 2-3 event. This would be surprising to me, if it’s true, as Phish could sell out its own two-day music festival without any other acts. Nonetheless, that’s a huge name in the music world and it would draw a tremendous crowd, as it has a huge and diverse following. Although it’s a hypothetical at this time, the big unknown with Phish would be whether it would attract the types of people city officials would want to see.

Back in October, possible talent pitched to the Ocean City Mayor and Council included Paul Simon, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mumford and Sons, Florence & The Machine and Adele.

Since it’s only mid-December, most bands have not announced their summer of 2012 plans yet. However, the exception was Tom Petty, who did announce this week his summer intentions, which do not include Ocean City. In fact, Petty will be performing in Newfoundland, Canada on June 3 before heading to Europe for a series of shows., making a stop in Ocean City the day before seemingly impractical.

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In Ocean City, it has been assumed by most that the Dew Tour would be returning in 2012 because of its tremendous success last July. Dew Tour officials, after the resort stop, said it was one of the most highly attended events in their history.

The anticipated return to Ocean City in 2012 was essentially confirmed by Tourism Director Deb Turk this week when she reported Dew Tour officials will come before the Mayor and Council next month for the reservation of an August date, most likely the third weekend of the month.

This is excellent news for Ocean City and the shore, and I think the date is much better for all involved than this year’s mid-July event. The proposed 2012 date is the weekend after the White Marlin Open wraps up and usually represents the beginning of smaller crowds, as children begin returning to school elsewhere. Additionally, unlike this year, it would not occur in Ocean City’s traditional peak summer season stretch and the true economic impact of the event will likely be better measured.

Either way, it’s welcome news to hear Dew Tour officials are moving ahead with a return engagement.

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Along the same lines, advanced preparations for the summer of 2012 are in full swing, and some plans were publicly unveiled this week to the Mayor and Council.

Bob Rothermel, former director of the resort’s convention center and also the co-creator of the Cruisin’ events, among others, came before the council to discuss some mid-week summer events that would draw people to Ocean City during what has become a lag period.

It’s long been known people are booking shorter vacation stints in Ocean City and elsewhere, due to economic constraints and changing vacationing trends. While widely acknowledged, efforts to address the disparity between the weekends and weekdays have not been overly successful, at least in my estimation. Holding concerts and the events that center on diverse entertainment could go a long way toward addressing this visitor gap.

To the council this week, Rothermel said, “We just need to find the right dates, mid-week dates that have worked in the past, or maybe a Sunday to kind of hold people over. There will be some free events on the beach … years ago, we did a laser show on the beach and what it did was bring a Saturday night to a Wednesday or a Thursday.”

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.