Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – July 28, 2023

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – July 28, 2023

As more details become known, it’s clear an apt word to describe this fall’s Oceans Calling Festival would be unprecedented.

It’s been interesting to observe the early planning that is currently taking place in advance of the late September event. In fact, it appears city officials have been working with festival promoters for many months on logistics. Last year’s event was canceled the day before the festival was to open due to a coastal storm bringing high winds, rain and flooding.

A primary concern with 50,000 people attending the concerts each day is what happens at the end of the festival. With the band performances scattered throughout the day, guests will likely be arriving at different times. Once the headliner wraps up at the end of each day, however, all 50,000 concert-goers will be leaving at the same time. The hope is some will be staying within walking distance, but the reality is a great majority will be driving, opting for ride-share or cabs or needing public transportation. Aware of the demands on the bus system, Ocean City is looking to offer an express bus service throughout that weekend that would reduce the bus stops from about 60 normally to 18. It was learned earlier this month a transit consultant is working with the promoter and the city on travel concepts.

This week the new plan to include a portion of the Boardwalk in the festival grounds was approved as part of the promoter’s license application review through the Worcester County Board of License Commissioners. The festival’s footprint will include 64 businesses including the Pier. Alcohol will be permitted on the Pier but not allowed on rides. A key piece to the approval was ensuring drinks bought inside a bar or restaurant would not be taken out into the festival grounds. On the flip side, beers or cocktails purchased from a festival bar cannot be taken into a private bar or restaurant. It appears the promoter will be bringing in about 300 security employees who will partner with the police department for enforcement. Additionally, the promoter will bring in about 75 EMTs to assist.

Yes, it’s safe to say this is an unprecedented event for Ocean City.

It never ceases to amaze me what makes news outside the area and what does not. This week, some headlines popped up around the mid-Atlantic about PETA putting out word about a $5,000 reward in return, “for information leading to the arrest and conviction of five men who were recorded abusing koi fish in a privately owned pond,” according to the press release.

In the early morning hours of July 1, security camera footage shows five men – who appeared to be intoxicated – reach into a residence’s small pond on 77th Street and grab fish. The video shows them throwing the fish around and one individual slammed at least one fish into the ground. At some point, another individual started using a shovel in the pond while others recorded the weirdness on their cell phones, of course. Throughout the course of the incident, the men are seen on video laughing hysterically. Police describe the suspects as five males between the ages of 18 and 25.

In the press release, PETA Senior Vice President Colleen O’Brien said, “Fish feel pain and fear just as cats, dogs, and these young misfits do, yet the men laughed as they tormented these animals who were slowly suffocating in their hands. PETA urges anyone with information to come forward immediately before more animals are hurt or killed.”

The case has evidently gone cold without leads, according to PETA.  Anyone with any information Anyone who can identify any of the suspects in the video should email [email protected] or the Ocean City Police Department at 410-723-6610. Anonymous tips may be left by calling 410-520-5136 or by electronic submission at (reference case number 2023-00-2813.)

One of the more anticipated concerts of the summer at the Freeman Arts Pavilion was cancelled Tuesday due to thunderstorms. The concert, featuring Dashboard Confessional and Counting Crows, was canceled about 7:10 p.m. after the gates were delayed initially due to the torrential rains, thunder and lightning.

I was among the thousands planning to attend on Tuesday and anxiously waiting to learn whether the show would indeed go on. While awaiting official word on the pavilion’s Facebook page, I was amused by some of the social media comments and the anxiety over the wait. Here’s a handful of my favorites, while ignoring the nasty ones critical of the decision and the wait time.

  • Send the taco truck to the parking lot.
  • Don’t mind me, just sitting here eating Chipotle constantly refreshing this page,
  • Any updates? Trying to decide if we should drive over or put my pajamas back on.
  • Should I put in a reservation for 350 people at Fox’s Pizza Den Fenwick West?
  • Just call the show I have left over spaghetti in the fridge and I am hungry.
  • I don’t give a crap what the outcome is, but give us an update. At least acknowledge you don’t know and let us know a new update time. Open the bars and toilets in the meantime.

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.