The first Jellyfish Festival will be held in Ocean City. It aspires to be an annual event held each June on the beach. Whether that happens will be largely based on this weekend’s attendance. We are rooting for it.
The weekend after the OC Air Show and before the Fourth of July holiday has in recent years been a bit of a struggle for Ocean City. It’s a strong weekend typically, but it’s a let down generally because there has never been a marquee event held in between these two large weekends. This beach festival, billed as “The Act of Music and Sports” by organizers, should fill that void.
Designed as a family event, the main ingredient of the festival – and the most important because it will ultimately determine the fiscal success – will be live music. Event Director Brad Hoffman and colleagues went with quantity and quality with the live music bookings. Though musical preferences and styles vary based on individual tastes, there are a few named acts a majority of people will recognize, but the lineup largely features local and regional acts. The idea was to present a large number of respected and regarded acts to present a well-rounded bill throughout the weekend, rather than land one large band that would blow the budget.
For a first-time festival, this is a reasoned approach. There was initial disappointment about the lineup, but that was largely due to the organizers reporting some major, national acts as potential bookings to the Ocean City Mayor and Council. The organizers ultimately made the right decision with their conservative approach on band bookings.
Furthermore, it’s important to understand the festival is about a lot more than music. This is where the family aspect comes into play because interest from the kids will be in the added attractions, such as the fat bike ride areas, ninja obstacle course, freestyle motorcross team, arts and crafts, surfing and skate demonstrations and contests and indo board expression sessions, to name several.
There will be a lot to review after the weekend for tourism folks and the city – which contributed about $260,000 to it. We are hopeful attendance is strong and the reviews are positive for this first-time endeavor. It’s a worthwhile concept for Ocean City, deserves the support of visitors and locals and fits into the June calendar perfectly.