Beach Road Weekend photo

Beach Road Weekend Music Festival will not return to Martha’s Vineyard

The Vineyard Arts and Culture Foundation announced Wednesday that the Beach Road Weekend music festival and MV Concert Series will not return to Martha’s Vineyard this summer. Instead, the festival is set to relocate to a new venue on Cape Cod in 2025.

Originating in 2019 through a partnership with the Town of Tisbury, Beach Road Weekend aimed to establish itself as a premier destination event, rivaling others in New England. While the inaugural year incurred a significant financial deficit, it demonstrated that a first-class event could thrive on Martha’s Vineyard. The festival garnered success and enthusiastic support, prompting plans for its return in subsequent years.

In 2020, the Beach Road Weekend name and brand were licensed to a Martha’s Vineyard-based 501-c3 non-profit to support island organizations dedicated to the arts, education, and recreation. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival’s original producer, Innovation Arts & Entertainment, continued to program and produce the event, generously donating time, expertise, and resources. Unfortunately, the 2020 festival had to be canceled due to pandemic-related concerns.

The 2022 Beach Road Weekend Music Festival, held in the post-pandemic era, was a resounding success, featuring thirty bands over three days with headliners like the Avett Brothers, Beck, and Wilco. However, financial losses exceeding $1 million, attributed to inflation and supply chain challenges, were incurred. Despite this, the festival managed to raise and donate over $110,000 to critical island organizations.

The 2023 festival faced similar financial pressures, with costs escalating due to high cargo expenses, on-island crew accommodations, labor and equipment costs, and off-island rental expenses. Although the event sold out once again, the financial challenges persisted, resulting in another seven-figure loss.

After careful consideration and consultation with the Vineyard Arts and Culture Foundation, their advisors, and Innovation Arts and Entertainment, organizers have concluded that the costs associated with producing the festival on Martha’s Vineyard are prohibitively high. Consequently, there is no viable pathway forward to achieve the fundraising goals of the Foundation. As a result, Beach Road Weekend will relocate to Cape Cod in 2025, marking a significant shift for the beloved music festival.

“It is with great disappointment and sadness that we announce that as a result of the extraordinary expense associated with producing touring shows and festivals on Martha’s Vineyard, the MV Concert Series and Beach Road Weekend will not be returning to the Island,” Festival founder Adam Epstein said.

“This past Beach Road Weekend was fantastic. Seeing Mumford and Sons headline an event we had built from scratch over the span of five years was exhilarating. Yet, the festival had very clear and unrelenting challenges. For every dollar we saved via experience and efficiencies, our costs would increase by two dollars from other factors. We could never catch up. Perseverance and a drive toward efficiency weren’t enough. Hotel costs for our staff, cargo and ferry-related expenses, and extra costs associated with doing the festival on an island led to an extra $1.25 million in expense each year over what the same festival would have cost on the mainland.”

Joe Kosin, Co-Producer of Beach Road Weekend added, “We see a pathway where Beach Road Weekend can be successful for audiences and as a vehicle for good, but not with the extra financial challenges presented by the Vineyard’s unique location. So, the festival will take 2024 off for a re-design a location on Cape Cod to be announced at a later date. Same great festival – new location!”




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