(Sept. 20, 2019) Thousands of people are expected to gather in the Ocean City inlet parking lot this weekend to hear headlining acts “Who’s Bad: A Michael Jackson Experience,” Granger Smith, and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue as well as a wide variety of other musical entertainment during the 45th annual Sunfest celebrations.
Sunfest began Thursday with local, regional and national acts starting at 10:15 a.m. daily and continuing until Sunday afternoon.
“I can’t emphasize enough the level of entertainment value you’re gonna get at Sunfest this year,” Ocean City Special Events Director Frank Miller said. “It doesn’t matter which of the [shows] you pick or how many you go to … you are going to walk away saying, ‘That was a great show.’
“As soon as we open the gates we begin with live music, which alternates between the Comcast Entertainment Pavilion, which is a large tent that seats 750 people and the outdoor stage which is set up with picnic tables and benches,” he continued.
In addition, there are three ticketed headliner shows.
“Who’s Bad: A Michael Jackson Experience,” a Michael Jackson tribute band, was scheduled to perform last night.
Country singer, Granger Smith, also known by his alter ego “Earl Dibbles Jr.,” will have the audience singing along to his country songs beginning at 8 p.m. tonight. On Saturday, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue will round out the tickets concert shows on the Sunfest stage at 8 p.m.
Granger Smith signed his first music contract at age 19 in Nashville, Tennessee, and has performed at the White House three times in his tenure. His 2013 album, “Dirt Road Driveway,” peaked at No. 15 on U.S. country charts and No. 11 on U.S. indie charts.
His 2015 EP “4x4” was co-produced by Smith and Frank Rogers. It debuted on the Top Country Albums chart at No. 6 , and reached No. 51 on Billboard 200.
The lead single from his album, “Backroad Song,” sold over 32,000 downloads in its first week of release.
Tragedy has recently struck the singer when his 3-year-old son, River, drowned at the family home on June 6 this year. Despite this, Smith will still be performing in Ocean City.
“The fact that he’s coming … that he’s still playing is a wonderful thing,” Miller said. “I’m really hoping that we see a tribute to his son in some respect. This says so much about him as a performer. His dedication to his music … and to overcome such a terrible loss and to be dealing with that loss while still performing really says a lot about the man.”
Tickets for Smith are on sale at the Ocean City Convention Center Box Office on 40th Street from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., today. Tickets will also be available on site during Sunfest, at www.ticketmaster.com or call 800-551-7328. Tickets cost $25-$35.
Troy Andrews, better known as Trombone Shorty, and his band Orleans Avenue will rock out during the final ticketed concert of the event on Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Comcast Entertainment Pavilion.
Described as a combination of rock, pop, jazz and funk, Andrews plays the sounds of his hometown, New Orleans, which is full of jazz and funk.
“He’s such an amazing performance,” Miller said. “He’s a little bit of a blues song and he’s got a little bit of pop.”
In 2010, Andrews released the Ben Ellman produced “Backatown” (Verve Forecast), which hit Billboard magazine’s Contemporary Jazz Chart at No. 1 and stayed there for nine consecutive weeks.
In May 2014, Andrews recorded with Mark Ronson for his album “Uptown Special” which reached No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard 200.
Tickets for Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue are on sale at the Ocean City Convention Center Box Office on 40th Street from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., today. Tickets will also be available on site during Sunfest, at www.ticketmaster.com or call 800-551-7328. Tickets cost $25-$35.
Visitors can check out a full schedule of free music every day during Sunfest. The music starts at 10:15 a.m. each morning and runs until about 7 p.m., except on Sunday, when the festival ends with a special performance by Mike Hines and The Look at 4:30 p.m.
Visit http://ococean.com/sunfest for the full schedule of Sunfest entertainment or call 800-626-2326 for more information.
Sunfest Music Schedule
Friday, Sept. 20
10:15 a.m. – Rick K. & The Allnighters
12:30 p.m. – Jesse Garon’s Tribute to Elvis
2:30 p.m. – Midnite Run
4:30 p.m. – The Stickers
6 p.m. – DJ Kutt
11:30 a.m. – The Shatners
1:30 p.m. – Poole & The Gang
3:30 p.m. – Rick K. & The Allnighters
8 p.m. – Granger Smith
Saturday, Sept. 21
10:15 a.m. – Panama Rex
12:30 p.m. – Bob Lougheed & The Memphis Mafia
2:30 p.m. – Guys in Thin Ties
4:30 p.m. – The Crawdaddies
6 p.m. – DJ Kutt
11:30 a.m. – The Stickers
1:30 p.m. – Lauren Glick Band
3:30 p.m. – Jaded Love
8 p.m. – Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Sunday, Sept. 22
10:15 a.m. – The Beach Bumz
12 p.m. – The Dunehounds
2 p.m. – Power Play
4:30 p.m. – Beatlemania Again
11 a.m. – Delmarva Big Band
1 p.m. – Josh Christina Band
3 p.m. – Vinyl Rhino