OCEAN CITY – A modified and potentially expanded contract with the promoters of Oceans Calling, a three-day music festival slated for late September and early October ultimately canceled by a storm, is in the works, resort tourism officials learned last week.
The first-ever Oceans Calling three-day music festival scheduled earlier this fall promised to be perhaps the best concert series in the resort ever. The three-day lineup included several frontliners, including Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds on Friday night, the Lumineers on Saturday night and Alanis Morissette on Sunday, along with a couple of appearances by Maryland’s own O.A.R. and numerous other bands practically around the clock on three stages in and around the Inlet lot.
Advanced ticket sales were robust and there was quite a buzz created by the inaugural Oceans Calling event. The stages were installed, sound systems were all set and vendors were in place for the three-day event slated for Sept. 30 to Oct. 2.
However, the remnants of Hurricane Ian, coupled with a classic nor’easter, forced event producers C3 Presents, in conjunction with town officials, to cancel the Oceans Calling music festival just a day in advance of the opening act hitting the stage.
Although difficult, the decision proved to be the right one as the remnants of the hurricane and the nor’easter did reach the resort area by Friday, or the first day of the scheduled three-day event. While the cancellation proved to be the right call, it did little to mask the disappointment of the estimated 40,000 fans who had purchased ticket packages in advance.
Almost immediately after the canceled event, C3 Presents and town officials began discussing a return of the event for next year.
In November, the Mayor and Council approved a request from C3 Presents to hold the same weekend dates in 2023.
Last week, Tourism and Business Development Director Tom Perlozzo said negotiations are ongoing for a new contract with C3 Presents to bring back the Oceans Calling festival beyond 2023. Perlozzo said the ink was not yet dry on the contract for 2023 but the promoter and town officials have been in discussions about a multi-year contract along with some potential modifications in the staging format. There have also been discussions about potentially adding more dates on another weekend.
“We are currently making some changes in the contract dates and, potentially, additional needs based upon their requests,” he said. “It’s nothing major, but it could include multiple years as date-holds and potentially the exploration of a second weekend. Nothing has been firmed up with the latter though.”