VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A new music festival is coming to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. The two-day, yet-to-be-named festival will take place Oct. 20-21 just north of 15th Street.
“Eventually we want to make Virginia Beach a year-round destination,” said Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer.
According to Dyer, that means an abundance of activities, and now a new annual music fest organized by broadcasting company Audacy.
“We want this to be an annual event and we did a little bit of research and we found out that October has the least amount of rain,” said Bennett Zier, Audacy’s senior vice president. “It’s still in the 70s and 80s and there are really less events at that time of the year so its really something to look forward to.”
Zier tells 10 On Your Side they hope to draw in more than 10,000 people and keep the commerce coming to the Resort City in the fall. Earlier this week, council members approved $750,000 to buy fall radio ads marketing the city as a tourism destination.
“This needs to be a mid-Atlantic destination, so what we do is we kind of look at all of our analytics and we look at who is an hour and a half plane ride and who is a 6, 7 hour drive,” Zier said.
Some council members pushed back with concerns over festival fatigue, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art’s Art Show taking place the same weekend and initially, the event having the same location, with the concert at 31st Street and the Art Show from 24th through 35th Streets.
“You’re going to be putting these two events down there at the same time, not all the way to the south,” said Councilwoman Barbara Henley during Tuesday’s meeting. “I can see those folks have had it. Where are people going to park? I’m really concerned.”
Councilman Chris Taylor also voiced concern over the proximity of the events.
“The boardwalk Art Festival is the largest running annual Oceanfront event since 1956,” Taylor said. “An estimated 200,000 to 250,000 visitors for the 3-day show according to MOCA.”
Prior to voting, council agreed to move the fall music festival further south to just north of 15th Street.
“Its a situation where we’re a victim of our own success,” Dyer said. “The thing is to figure out how to make this better. A good example was at the last council meeting when we found out this event would be in conflict with the Art Show, let’s move it down the beach a little bit. Virginia Beach has proven that not only can we handle big crowds but multiple events.”
The festival’s name? To be announced, but it will focus primarily on local and national rock and pop artists.
Zier tells us the line-up is expected to be announced any day now.