(Feb. 8, 2019) A crowd of more than 300 people gathered at the Ocean City convention center on 40th Street Tuesday afternoon as Brad Hoffman of Live Wire Media announced the lineup and several activities for the inaugural Jellyfish Festival, which will take place June 21-23.
The Jellyfish Festival is an all-around family friendly event featuring sports as well as regional and national musical acts. The festival will stretch from the inlet pier to North Division Street.
With a budget of nearly $200,000, it is expected to be one of the largest music events in the town next to the Springfest and Sunfest festivals.
“We worked significantly to bring these acts together, to bring these bands together, to bring this vibe together to create a festival that is family friendly and fits the needs of Ocean City, Maryland,” Hoffman said. “The Jellyfish Festival is a festival for the Town of Ocean City … it’s going to be huge.”
The event is being produced by Hoffman and Endless Summer Surf Shop owner Salty Selt, who have joined with Illusion Sound & Lighting owner Brian Giblin to produce a marriage of top-flight musicians and extreme sports stars.
“The Jellyfish Festival is three days but this is a little different than most festivals. We have a very unique format,” Selt said. “So, we’re going to have all kinds of varieties of music and we formatted it in three separate days. Day one, Friday, is what we call ‘Fresh Friday.’ ‘Fresh Friday’ was made out to have bands that are regional traveling artists, local artists and showcasing the younger demographic music that really gives any festival its fresh feel.”
Eighteen musical acts are already confirmed for the festival. On “Fresh” Friday, June 21, Ballyhoo, Bad Fish, Sweet Leda and King Schascha will perform.
“We have big acts that we’re going to announce, but also going to have local and regional acts because that is the flavor that makes this event great,” Hoffman said.
For “Classic Saturday,” June 22, enjoy classic rock from Styx, Crack the Sky, Ravyns and Blue Miracle. Finally, on Sunday, June 23, hear “Music with a Message” by bands like Newsboys and Chowder.
Other bands expected to perform include Muskrat Lightning, Swell Fellas, Phantom Limbs, Rogue Citizens, Lauren Glick Band, Melissa Alesi and Stone Senate.
More bands are expected to follow, with around 20-35 performers for the entire event, Gilpin said.
“Some of these bands have never played on the beach,” Gilpin said. “They really couldn’t believe it. Most of the bands [have] talked to us about shooting music videos. They’re just completely blown away with how supportive the city has been … and they’re extremely excited.”
The festival concept was initially pitched last April to the Tourism Advisory Board, which voted unanimously to recommend council approve a budget of $198,000, representing 75 percent of a $220,000 funding request.
The festival will be more than just music, however. Located beside the main stage right off the Boardwalk, the Jellyfish Village will offer five blocks of interactive, family friendly activities such as Ultimate Frisbee and art programs. It will include a fitness challenge, a skateboard and bicycle zone, a secondary music stage, as well as vendors and artists.
“It gives us an ability to bring that family message to the beach,” Selt said. “I want to go to a festival I’d be proud to take my 11-year-old daughter to and that’s what we’re doing here. It’s great music and great messaging.”
The fitness activities will also have two gold medalist performers, though their identities are being kept a secret for now.
The event will also host performances by a freestyle Motocross team, contests with professional surfers and skateboarders, and activities hosted by influencers in the fitness community, available for adults and children alike.
Sponsorships are still available for restaurants and local businesses.
Although the main beach stage acts are ticketed performances, Hoffman said the oceanfront stage behind the Caroline Street Comfort Station will have free shows.
For more information, or to inquire about committee membership, contact Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 443-366-5944, or visit the Jellyfish Festival Facebook page or official jellyfish festival website at www.jellyfishfestival.com. Tickets are slated to go on sale, today, Friday.