Beach Road Weekend has ‘Jaws’ dropping open

Three-day festival is underway.



Quint. Hooper. Chief. Edgartown. Gay Head Light. Big Bridge.

It was all on display at the start of Beach Road Weekend Friday night. The gates opened a little later than anticipated, but when they did customers were treated to a transformed Veterans Memorial Park in Vineyard Haven with a lighthouse and other art installations, as well as places to cool off and even to play corn hole while music played in the background. There were dozens of food vendors selling everything from gyros to sweet potato fries and, yes, there was beer, wine, and spiked seltzers for sale so long as you purchased food first thanks to Tisbury’s strict alcohol laws.

But it was “Jaws,” that Quint-essential Martha’s Vineyard movie and the Cape Symphony Orchestra that shined.

Jung-Ho Pak, conductor of the Cape Symphony, told The Times that his musicians would only need one rehearsal before the performance and he — and they — nailed it. The music was vibrant and haunting and energizing.

Beach Road Weekend is the inspiration of Adam Epstein, the Chicago promoter with a second home in Edgartown, and from the beginning he talked about pairing this iconic (yes, the overused word applies in this instance) Martha’s Vineyard movie with the Cape Symphony.

Under perfect conditions Friday night, it worked well. The loud squealing of ospreys in a nearby nest seemed to add to the ambiance.

There were laughs at some of those familiar “Jaws” lines. “You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” for example. And the crowd chuckled when Chief Brody said, “You open the beach on the Fourth of July, it’s like ringing the dinner bell for Christ’s sake.”

People in the crowd could be heard pointing out familiar landmarks. And there were most certainly folks in the crowd who either knew extras in the movie or were extras themselves like our very own Rich Saltzberg who Tweeted about seeing his father-in-law Richard Cohen on the big screen in the 1975 blockbuster. Even the Steamship Authority had a cameo that had the knowing crowd chuckling a bit.

There is something about watching the movie outdoors, within just a few hundred feet of the water, that made it even more suspenseful than usual.

“Jaws” can feel campy at times, but at others it is poignant like when Quint talks about what happened to the American servicemen responsible for dropping the bomb at Hiroshima.

It was probably a smaller crowd than promoter Adam Epstein had hoped, but it was enthusiastic nonetheless. 

As the final note was played by the orchestra, there was wild applause for Pak and his musicians before people began streaming out of the venue for their shuttle buses or a short walk to the Vineyard Haven ferry terminal.

As a kickoff, it was a great beginning to the three-day Beach Road Weekend music festival, which features two more complete days of concerts. 

As word spreads of how much fun people had at Friday’s event, Epstein’s gonna need a bigger venue.



  1. “Festival goers are allotted eight drinks per day…” and “Thanks to Tisbury’s strict alcohol laws”. Does anyone, who is not alcoholic, ever have 8 drinks in a single day, with or without food? Serious question.

  2. jackie, that was my first thought. 8 drinks per day? i’m no suffragette, but even for a 240lb. person, that would be over the legal limit. that doesn’t sound like the safe, family friendly event we were led to believe. hopefully that’s an error.

    • That’s a limit, but they are using TIPS certified bartenders who are trained to see if someone is intoxicated. There are also police officers nearby. Just because you have a bracelet with 8 drinks doesn’t mean you’ll get 8 drinks. Also at the prices of $8 to $15 per drink, that’s a lot of money to spend.

      • An 8 drink limit isn’t indicative of a “strict alcohol law”, no matter how you slice it or what a drink costs.

          • George, are you trying to say that imposing a limit of 8 drinks is a “strict alcohol law”? It’s not.

          • I stand by the use of the word strict for two reasons. First, Tisbury has a unique law that requires food with an alcoholic beverage. That is stricter than other alcohol laws and was approved by home-rule petition by the Legislature. Second, setting a limit is also stricter than state law and should be unnecessary because it is illegal to overserve patrons, which is why license holders train their bartenders in TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures). Here’s an example of a bar in Falmouth being cited for overserving.

    • The average person can metabolize/dissipate alcohol at the rate of one drink per hour. So 8 drinks in 8 hours would not be over the limit. 8 drinks in an hour would be.

  3. I’m no alcoholic but 8 drink max per day seems reasonable. Nobody is say you need to drink all 8. This is a great event and George’s last line in this article is epic!

  4. Instead of highlighting the 8 drink limit and trying to focus on the negative for an event (since the traffic wasn’t that bad and the noise was not an issue during the event by all accounts here and people enjoyed themselves) you should concentrate on the mental illness that is pervasive on this island. As Saltzburg writes the article below we should be focusing on what we can do to combat the homelessness and how do we aide the mentally ill in our community instead of throwing darts at an event that costs a minimum of $75 to get in and another $8 to $15 for a drink. Enjoy the weekend festivities and stop trying to poke holes at it right now.

    Thank you to those that protect us like the men and women of law enforcement.

  5. Been to many festivals – gotten super pissed at the disorganization and the out of control, inebriated attendees at most of them. I can honestly say that this festival that Adam Epstein has put on is the most organized, well run, chill, good time I’ve ever had at an event like this. Everyone is in a good mood, law enforcement and EMS workers are ever-present and reflect the tone of the event, and the line-up of both national and local artists has been outstanding. From inside the event (which is beautiful, by the way), to the outside – bus drivers, the folks on traffic detail and any one of the miscellaneous workers – courtesy and the Golden Rule have dominated the day. Beach Road Weekend has come off without a hitch and with a very positive attitude.

    Adam, you and your people have really done an outstanding job. Even in the face of teeny, tiny minds who hoped you failed, you persevered and put on one hell of a weekend.

    Thank you for your attention to detail, your consideration, and your very obvious love for the Vineyard.
    As far as many of us are concerned, we hope you have the energy to do it all again next year.

  6. George, you write a poet. Too much alcohol usually makes the headlines. Some tragic and others just downright hilarious. The opine gang has this one upside down. Must have something about them getting outwitted by security. Bet the old sneaky BYOB skills aren’t like they used to be…

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