Hurricane Ian put a squash to Ocean City, Maryland's attempt at a early Fall music festival, but it appears the wheels are in motion to try again in 2023.
Oceans Calling was scheduled to feature a 30-act lineup including Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, the Lumineers, and Alanis Morrisette before officials made the decision to call off the festival due to weather concerns with the chance of coastal flooding hitting the very beach where the stages were being constructed.
Undeterred, event organizer C3 Presents has approached Ocean City about trying again in 2023, and the town has given approval for a September 29-October 1 to highlight OCMD's shoulder season.
"We locked in the dates early so they could go ahead and secure the entertainment. It makes it a little easier for them and gives them a wider variety of entertainment to choose from, " OCMD Mayor Rick Meehan told WBOC.
The Delmarva music landscape will be different in 2023, as Dover's Firefly Music Festival announced last month they are taking a "pause" for next year, and it is uncertain what time of the year the previously summer festival might run in the future.
"Firefly will not be coming back in 2023, so we really have an open door here to have a very successful event," Meehan said.
Ocean City business owners like Pizza Tugo's Scott Heise said bringing national acts outside of the traditional 13-week summer window can only help a town whose population swells to 750,000 on some July weekends, but is perhaps lesser known to diehard fans of certain muscians.
"It's a big hit for the city because it's bringing people in that we don't normally see, and exposing us to a bigger part of the country," Heise told WBOC.
No artists were floated around as possible acts for the intended 2023 festival.