Beach Music Fest Eyes Summer 2013

OCEAN CITY – Not all hope is lost for a high-profile beach music festival in Ocean City, as Founders Entertainment asked the town this week to save a date next summer to debut its planned two-day event.

Founders Entertainment first proposed its music festival in October of last year. It was to be held June 2-3, 2012 as a weekend music and arts festival with multiple stages on the beach from north Dorchester Street to 2nd Street. The event was estimated to bring 35,000 people per day with an economic impact upwards of $20 million, based on studies of similar festivals held around the country.

When the event was first proposed, a dollar of every ticket sale was to be given to the town as a facility fee, a revenue share of 7.5 percent of net food and beverage sales up to $100,000 as well as a reimbursement to the town for any city resources used, such as police or fire department assistance.

At Monday’s meeting, Tom Russell of Founders Entertainment officially requested the event be postponed until June 1-2, 2013, due to the unavailability of the high-level talent targeted for the music festival. Acts said to be targeted included Paul Simon, Tom Petty, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mumford and Sons, Florence & The Machine, Adele and many more.

According to Russell, most booking agents for high-level artists route summer tours and festival appearances over 10 months in advance, and each level headlining act they spoke with were either already committed to other festivals or had done summer tours set in stone that conflicted with the dates for this summer’s music festival in Ocean City.

“The response we received from the booking agents and artist managers we spoke with was incredibly positive, and each is genuinely excited to receive offers for this event in the future,” Russell said. “Founders Entertainment remains fully committed to making this event happen and we plan on taking multiple trips to Ocean City this summer with agents, managers and other industry personnel in order to help lock in talent that would ensure a successful event for us and for the Town of Ocean City.”

The only concern council members had before voting unanimously to save the dates for next summer was the total cost to the town.

“We will know when we get closer to finding out specifically what would be needed,” Private Events Coordinator Lisa Mitchell said. “Virtually nothing has changed yet, we haven’t gotten a new application so we are going from the comments and costs from the previous application.”

Russell hopes to release a line-up of entertainment for next summer’s event by November, and at that time costs will be estimated.

“We are planning on reimbursing all the costs incurred by city organizations,” he said.