Beach Road Weekend, the multi-day music festival that made its 2019 debut in Tisbury’s Veterans Memorial Park, is returning this summer as a series of three individually-ticketed concerts in the park on July 23, July 24 and July 25.
“In order to keep live music alive and get people back out again… we decided to do something smaller scale under the Beach Road Weekend name,” said Adam Epstein, president and CEO of Innovations Arts and Entertainment, which produces the concerts.
Earlier this winter the proposed concert had been rescheduled for summer 2022, but in April Mr. Epstein’s presented the scaled-back plan to the Tisbury select board, which approved renting Veterans park pending further permits and licensing.
To accommodate a socially-distanced audience, Mr. Epstein said his company has come up with a plan dividing the park into 500 beach-blanketed squares, each holding up to four people and located six feet from other squares.
The economics of restricting the audience to 2,000 people, instead of the roughly 9,000 a day who attended in 2019, have limited the music budget as well, he said.
Instead of 30 to 40 acts over three days — including Island bands — each of this year’s three concerts will feature just one headliner. The first booking, announced earlier this week, is the Tedeschi Trucks Band on July 24 at 6 p.m. The concert is timed so that audience members from the mainland can return from the Island on the last Steamship Authority ferry of the day.
Tickets for the show had nearly sold out by Friday afternoon, Mr. Epstein said.
“There might be 100 tickets left,” he told the Gazette shortly after 3 p.m.
The remaining two headliners will be announced once contractual details are ironed out. Mr. Epstein said he expects to be able to reveal at least one of them within the next week.
The series also must clear the town’s board of health, which met with Mr. Epstein last month.
“The Board of Health agreed that Mr. Epstein could proceed with planning the event with the understanding that, if public health conditions dictate, the concert may be need to be cancelled,” town health agent Maura Valley told the Gazette Friday. “The issue is on the BOH agenda for June 22 to revisit the issue and see if the concert can proceed.”
Mr. Epstein also must get a green light from Tisbury public safety officials, who told selectmen after the 2019 festival that it went smoothly from their point of view.
The concert series will be governed by strict Covid-19 protocols, Mr. Epstein said.
A 40-page health and safety manual, developed over the past year as Innovations has built socially-distanced concert venues in Yarmouth and South Carolina, will govern every aspect of how the event is run, he said.
“We know how to keep people safe by employing very strict methodologies to insure there is not improper mingling and people can enjoy the show while relaxing… and being respectful of the safety of their neighbors,” Mr. Epstein said.
The concert series is titled Beach Road Weekend 350, in honor of Tisbury’s 350th anniversary. The town was incorporated in 1671.