Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – February 10, 2023

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – February 10, 2023

Who will be playing at this fall’s Oceans Calling Festival in Ocean City? It’s on the minds of many.

It was interesting to see the lineup released this week for a similar music festival in New Jersey to Ocean City’s Oceans Calling Festival. The lineup for the Sea Hear Now Festival, produced by C3 Presents as well, in Asbury Park, N.J. dropped a month earlier this year than last year, leading me to think Oceans Calling Festival’s acts will probably be released sooner than last year’s May announcement. Ever since the event was canceled due to weather last year, curiosity has abounded over whether the same headliners and support acts would be featured this year. Logic says some of the acts may be the same – such as OAR and Dave Matthews, potentially – but changes are inevitable due to scheduling issues.

There does appear to be a major shift observed in the music industry concert scheduling circuit compared to last year. One year ago, amid lingering pandemic concerns, festival and concert venues as well as the acts themselves were slow to book gigs. Tour schedules were delayed amid questions and concerns over potential restrictions and safety regulations. There is not the same consternation this year as many summer tours were announced weeks ago and fall announcements have been happening as well, including the Oct. 7 date of Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks at Ravens Stadium in Baltimore.

As far as the Sea Hear Now Festival, it’s being held Sept. 16-17 (two weekends before the Oceans Calling Festival). Headlining on Saturday is The Killers with support acts from Greta Van Fleet, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Sheryl Crow, Tash Sultana, Royal Blood, Bob Moses, Cory Wong, Oteil & Friends and others. The lead bill on Sunday is the Foo Fighters preceded by Weezer, Rebelution, Mt. Joy, The Beach Boys, The Breeders, Tegan & Sara, Stephen Sanchez and others. Additionally, C3 Presents produces the upcoming Innings Festival later this month in Arizona. The two-day concert series will feature Green Day, Eddie Vedder, The Offspring, The Black Crowes, Heartless Bastards, Weezer, The Head and Heart and Weezer. Next month’s Innings Festival in Tampa features Dave Matthews Band, Grouplove, Imagine Dragons, The Avett Brothers, Pitbull, The Breeders and The Revivalists. All these lineups are worth documenting since they booked by the same producer as the one behind Ocean City’s Oceans Calling Festival.

On the more local front it was around this time last year when the Freeman Arts Pavilion announced its intention to roll out its lineup announcement for the summer in phases. There’s a lot to look forward to in the coming months on the live music front.

It was worthwhile to convene the Worcester County Board of Education and the Worcester County Commissioners this week to discuss what the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future entails and the impact it will have on teachers and students. Top of mind for elected officials, however, is the cost.

There are multiple layers to the education reform legislation, but the biggest question for every local jurisdiction is how much of a funding increase will be required. The problem remains it’s unknown for several reasons. First, it’s a phased approach so the expenses will not be realized in a single year and most likely absorbed over time through stages. Secondly, further muddying the issue is the fact the reform program seems to be fluid and ever evolving despite already being approved by the state. Worcester County Superintendent of Schools Lou Taylor put it this way: “A lot of this is far from being decided. It’s what’s proposed. We wanted you to know the full extent of it… There are some things I don’t think will happen. Please don’t walk away saying it’s going to break Worcester County. It’s going to break the whole state of Maryland if they do it the way they’re doing it right now. I just gave you my personal opinion, not my superintendent opinion. We’re going to keep working on this. … The challenging part for us is they’re building the airplane as it’s traveling down the runway… It worries me.”

It’s a mess in other words.

Fenwick Island residents and visitors should not accept as inevitable beach replenishment taking place during the summer weeks. A headline in last week’s paper read, “Fenwick Mayor Expects Beach Replenishment To Impact Summer.” This is ludicrous.

As a result of delays elsewhere and other emergency projects leapfrogging Delaware’s schedule, it appears beaches along the coast will see beach replenishment equipment during prime season. Originally set to take place over the winter, the plan is now for beach pumping to begin in Rehoboth and work south. The exact timeline is unclear, but Fenwick Island Mayor Natalie Magdeburger said last week, “… it is definitely going to go through the summer months. How far through the summer months, we don’t know.” Magdeburger added, “My prediction is it’s going to be the middle of summer by the time they get here … We are going to be at the Army Corps of Engineers’ mercy, and I suspect I will be making announcements of dune and block closures during the summer months. As soon as I have information, I will provide it to everybody.”

Fenwick Island and other Delaware beaches should not be forced to simply accept beach replenishment during the summer months as reality.

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.