Inaugural Jellyfish Festival Kicks Off In Ocean City; Live Music, Sports Events Planned

Inaugural Jellyfish Festival Kicks Off In Ocean City; Live Music, Sports Events Planned
The main stage at the Jellyfish Festival is pictured this week ahead of this weekend's music and arts event on the beach. Photo courtesy of Jellyfish Festival

OCEAN CITY – The inaugural Jellyfish Festival comes to Ocean City this weekend.

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.

“This is a big event for our town, and we feel as though the whole community is gathering around us,” promoter Brad Hoffman said.

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. The music begins at noon on the Sea Stage at Caroline Street with Frenchy Tunes, Space Koi and Skribe set to perform. At 11 a.m. on the Beach Stage off Dorchester Street, Melissa Alessi will kick things off followed by The Rogue Citizens, Lower Case Blues, Phantom Limbs, The Swell Fellas and Muskrat Lightning. Beginning at 5 p.m., the A-Stage off Dorchester Street will feature ticketed performances by Sweet Leda, King Schascha, Ballyhoo! and Badfish.

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The live entertainment continues on “Classic Saturday” at noon on the Sea Stage with Jellyheads, Undateables and Full Circle performing until 4:15 p.m. The Beach Stage entertainments begins at 11 a.m. with Frankie Moran followed by Monkee Paw, Don Hall Band, West King String Band, Lauren Glick Band and Stone Senate (ticketed performance at 5 p.m.) The A-Stage will then featured ticketed performances beginning at 6 p.m. by Ravyns, Crack The Sky and STYX.

And on Sunday, the festival will conclude with “Music with a Message.” Opening performances on the Beach Stage will begin at 11:30 a.m. by Jody Pyles Band and 3C Live. The A-Stage will feature ticketed performances by Nathan Thomas from 2:30-3:30 p.m., Crowder from 4-5 p.m. and Newsboys from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

“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.”

The Jellyfish Festival will also include sports and fitness events – including performances by the Monster Energy 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. Professional skateboarders Bucky Lasek, Derek Krasauskas and Rodney Jones will be on hand. The mini-ramp is open to all skaters with skills with a signed waiver. 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.

“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.