OCEAN CITY – Public safety concerns have led to the cancelation of the first-ever Oceans Calling music festival.
On Thursday, about 24 hours before the first act was to perform, festival promoters were forced to report the show could not go on after all. Doors were to open at 12:30 p.m. on Friday with live music continuing until 11 p.m.
A statement posted on the event’s Facebook page Thursday reads, “Due to unsafe weather conditions on the Oceans Calling Festival grounds caused by Hurricane Ian and additional severe weather conditions forecasted for the rest of the weekend, we have made the difficult and heartbreaking decision to cancel this weekend’s Oceans Calling Festival. We hoped for a better outcome and are disappointed to share this news, however, the safety of our fans, artists and staff is our top priority.”
Full refunds will be issued to the original method of payment within a month.
The event is expected to return next year with a new lineup, according to city officials.
“We are extremely disappointed to have to cancel Oceans Calling Festival,” said Mayor Rick Meehan. “We have been working closely with the event promotors since May of 2021. Their hard work, and the hard work of our staff, was evident in every detail of the event planning and preparation. Although this is disappointing to all of us, we hope to work with C3 Presents to bring Oceans Calling Festival back to Maryland’s Coast next year.”
C3 Presents is an internationally known promoter of music concerts and other special events. The inaugural Oceans Calling three-day music festival was to feature several nationally known and popular acts. The concerts were to take place at three separate stages north and south of the pier, culminating each night with the major acts — Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, the Lumineers and Alanis Morissette. Maryland’s own O.A.R. was also to play twice during the weekend, among other national acts. The event was expected to draw 40,000 ticket holders to the resort over the weekend.
Construction crews have been on site all week, erecting the three stages and the associated booths and tents. Most of the equipment was expected to be removed as soon as possible ahead of the pending weekend weather.
The latest forecast predicts rain and wind all weekend, resulting most likely in flooding in some areas. According to the forecast from The Weather Channel, the chance of rain is 90% on Friday with winds east, northeast at 20 to 30 mph; 100% on Saturday with similar winds; and 80% on Sunday with winds ranging from 25 to 35 mph. Flooding at the Inlet parking lot — where a lot of attractions were set up this week — was also a major concern.
Throughout the week, despite Hurricane Ian, the intention was to hold the three-day music festival at the south end of Ocean City on the beach. Statements issued said the event was a “rain or shine” festival, but it was ultimately the wind and flooding concerns that caused the event to be nixed.