Organizers Gearing Up For First-Ever Jellyfish Festival; Beach Event To Offer Concerts, Sports, Fitness

Organizers Gearing Up For First-Ever Jellyfish Festival; Beach Event To Offer Concerts, Sports, Fitness
Among the top musical acts set to perform at the inaugural Jellyfish Festival in Ocean City next month will be STYX and Newsboys. Submitted Photos

OCEAN CITY – With one month remaining, organizers are rallying to put the finishing touches on the inaugural Jellyfish Festival.

On June 21-23, the Jellyfish Festival will make its debut on the beaches of Ocean City. Spanning nearly six blocks north of the pier, the event will feature live music from national, regional and local acts, arts and crafts, and extreme sports and fitness components.

“Right now, it’s all about crossing our t’s and dotting our i’s,” promoter Brad Hoffman said. “This is a big event for our town, and we feel as though the whole community is gathering around us.”

Next month, live music, extreme sports and family fun will converge in a weekend-long special event that will take place in and around Jellyfish Tentacle Village from Somerset Street to North Division Street.

The Jellyfish Festival will be broken up into three themed days starting with “Fresh Friday” on June 21. Local performances by Muskrat Lightning, Lower Case Blues, The Rogue Citizens and Melissa Alesi will be followed by headlining acts, such as Ballyhoo, Badfish, Sweet Leda and King Schascha.

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The following day, or “Classic Saturday,” festivities continue with performances by Styx, Crack the Sky, the Ravyns and Stone Senate and supporting performances by Lauren Glick Band, Monkee Paw, Frankie Moran, Skribe, Don Hall Main Street Blues Band, West King String Band, and Full Circle.

And on Sunday, the festival will conclude with “Music with a Message.” Opening performances by Nathan Jones, 3C Live, Mike Chapman, The Jody Pyles Band and the Ocean City Baptist Church Band will be followed with performances by Newsboys and Crowder.

“This festival has exceeded my expectations so far,” Hoffman said. “Our goal is to build a strong foundation in the first year, and I feel as though our team has done that.”

Performances will take place on multiple stages throughout the festival. Before all of that happens, however, the inaugural Jellyfish Festival will feature a First Responders Day on Thursday, June 20, from noon to 6 p.m. at the festival’s main stage, where police, firefighters, paramedics and servicemen and women with the armed forces will be honored.

“We want to show how important these people are to us,” Hoffman said. “It’s essentially a soft opening for the festival and it is free and open to everybody.”

The Jellyfish Festival will also include sports and fitness events – including performances by the Monster Freestyle Motocross Team, professional surfing competitions, and skateboarding and ultimate frisbee tournaments – throughout the weekend.

Festival participants can take part in the Monster Hydro Beach Fit Challenge – a ninja-style beach obstacle course – yoga sessions, fat tire biking, Indo Board and ultimate frisbee clinics, and skate jams, which gives locals an opportunity to mingle with the pros and learn new tricks on a 40-foot mini-ramp. At the Ocean Bowl Skate Park, event organizers will also host a skate jam tournament, which includes music, contests and prizes.

The three-day festival will also feature an arts and crafts tent, where local, regional and national artisans will be showing off their crafts to the public. The tent will include a kids art and music area, where local musician Lauren Glick will teach kids songwriting and microphone skills. T.C. Studios will also host an art zone, where families can create their own Jellyfish-inspired art.

Hoffman said the Jellyfish Festival is expected to fill a void left by the Dew Tour, a popular multi-sport event held in Ocean City from 2011 to 2014.

“This event melts right into the tapestry of year-long events in this town,” he said. “And it gives kids and younger families and event to call their own for years to come.”

Hoffman said event organizers are working closely with supporters and sponsors to ensure the event is a success.

“We are doing everything to make it the best festival possible …,” he said. “The whole city has embraced and supported this, and they are a major part of making this come together.”

The Jellyfish Festival will be held on Friday, June 21, and Saturday, June 22, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, June 23, from noon to 9 p.m. Tickets are still on sale and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or www.jellyfishfestival.com.

For additional information, or for sponsorship opportunities, visit www.jellyfishfestival.com or the Jellyfish Festival’s Facebook page.

“We want everyone to come out and enjoy themselves,” Hoffman said.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.