Updated 8:30 pm
In a blow to summer fun, Tisbury board of selectmen canceled Beach Road Weekend, which was scheduled for July 24-26.
The vote to cancel the event, which was to feature Norah Jones and Beck, comes as the Island continues to respond to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Adam Epstein, promoter of the event, had previously requested the board allow him to have a contingency date of Sept. 18-20.
On Tuesday, he conceded that it would be too much of a strain on town resources to continue seeking a new date for 2020.
“Earlier today, the Tisbury board of selectmen made a decision to cancel the 2020 Beach Road Weekend Music Festival. Innovation Arts & Entertainment (IAE), the producers of the festival, completely support this decision,” Epstein said in a statement. “When IAE launched Beach Road Weekend with the support of the Town of Tisbury, our main objective was to provide a safe and fun festival experience that everyone on Martha’s Vineyard would be proud of. As the coronavirus pandemic began to impact daily life on the Island, we started conversations with all stakeholders to ensure that we could deliver on that commitment. With shelter-in-place and social-distancing requests, our primary concern was that our emergency services at the police, fire, and EMS, who we rely on, could exclusively focus on the urgent care for the citizens they protect. Planning for a music festival became less important. With limited resources available on the Island, the health and safety of our fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, and family and friends that live in Tisbury, and across Martha’s Vineyard, must come first.”
Epstein was looking to build on what was a widely acclaimed first year for the festival in 2019.
“Beach Road Weekend 2020 had a critically acclaimed lineup, and we were excited to build on the great fan experience we developed last summer, so we are obviously disappointed not to be able to finish what we started,” Epstein said. “But, we need to make sure that resources to deal with this pandemic are available for the people of Martha’s Vineyard, and also to ensure the personal safety of everyone who would have attended, the artists scheduled to perform, and our incredible festival staff.”
Epstein had told fans who pre-ordered tickets their money would be refunded. “We look forward to bringing back Beach Road Weekend in 2021 and seeing all of you there,” he said. “We will begin the refund process as soon as we can. Although our offices are all currently closed, we are establishing the system to offer every travel package purchaser and ticket buyer a full refund as soon as possible. Stay safe!”
Meanwhile, the board also took other key votes. Property taxpayers will be given an extra month to get their quarterly payments in. The board voted unanimously to extend the deadline to June 1. The board also waived any interest or penalties to payments required to be made on or after March 10 so long as payments are made by June 30.
The board also voted unanimously to authorize town manager Jay Grande to sign a license agreement for an aquaculture grant in Tashmoo Lake for Noah Mayrand. The agreement came with a handful of stipulations, including that Mayrand must allow others to harvest shellfish in the grant area.
Selectmen also approved a second host-community agreement for a recreational marijuana outlet called Main Street Medicinals. In March, the board had approved a similar host-community agreement with Patient Centric. The two shops both plan to open on Mechanic Street.