Beach Road Weekend is canceled

This year's Beach Road Weekend has been canceled by a vote of the board of selectmen. - Gabrielle Mannino

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.


  1. It’s going to be a rough summer if your livelihood depends on visitors. Save as much cash as you can as soon as you can.

  2. Thanks again China! So awesome how this oppressive regime has managed to affect the daily lives of every single person living on this planet and not for the better. Please think about this the next time you purchase something made in China & just put it back on the shelf.

    • It’s too bad we don’t have any leadership here to provide for our needs for masks and ventilators and that we do indeed have to use China made products.

    • Well spoken Brian. Americans need to recognize that communist rulers are decidedly evil… while keeping in mind that a billion or so innocent Chinese souls are suffering the most. Human beings living under that oppressive regime are not our direct enemy, but we’ve got to disassociate (e.g. boycott PRC products) with them until that brutal dictatorship is somehow toppled… which I predict only happens after tech/gizmo/apparel bosses stop relying on child labor and slavery to maximize business profits. Don’t see Free Tibet bumper stickers anymore though, do we. Just folks starin’ into iPhones.

      • Tell Ivanka. And the evil conman who lies to us. Now he tells us voting by mail us corrupt and yet he just voted in Florida by mail. He is the real enemy of America.

    • Good luck boycotting all things made in China. A large chunk of consumer goods sold in the US are made there.
      Plus, there’s all those wonderful products that bear the names of First Family members that are made in the PRC.
      All that aside…
      Though the virus did originate in China the spread of the pandemic could not be controlled by their government. It is the policies and lack of leadership here in the US that has allowed the disease to spread as much as it has. If we had a competent leader who hadn’t gutted or dismantled agencies that were already in place to deal with such an occurence I doubt we would be in our current situation.

  3. Shape of things to come. On the bright side, watch out for a record post-Labor Day shoulder season, if that’s not too little, too late.

  4. Tisbury continues it’s history of poor leadership. When will the residents step up and replace them.

    • I, respectfully, disagree. It took courage for them to choose safety first and allow their team to focus on what matters most. As painful as this is personally for us on the festival team, we know they showed true leadership in making this call. We support the Town’s decision 100%.

      • Thank you Adam. Looking forward to attending when the next scheduled Beach Road weekend occurs.

  5. How can anyone predict that a event in July will have to be cancelled? After all, it only early April now! The Tisbury Board of Selectmen are foolish to make this decision so far in advance.

    • No national testing program, and no vaccine until next year. You’re delusional if you can’t see this summer is gone. People packed like sardines coming over on the Island Queen or Hy-line? Nope. VTA busses crammed with people going from OB to Edgartown? Nope. The Ag Fair and Fireworks likely to be canceled? Yep. Don’t worry about more NY and NJ license plates, or CT, DC, and PA plates — those folks aren’t coming either. Our hospital is barely keeping its head above water as it is. No docs and nurses will be coming down from Boston to “summer” at our hospital. It’s time to get real — until the pandemic winds down families are not going to risk coming to be a part of any crowds here in July and August.

      • New News, when you wrote, “Our hospital is barely keeping its head above water as it is,” that really surprised me. Has there been a large volume of patients that the general public isn’t aware of? If they’ve been swamped, I certainly haven’t expressed enough thanks

        • So, rpw, all the patients with: heart attacks, strokes pulmonary emboli, cancer, diabetes, infusion, renal dialysis, trauma, fractured skulls, fractured vertebrae, ruptured appendices, diverticulitis, intussusception (look it up,) pneumonia, I influenzas A and B (yep, they are still out there) falls, motor vehicle accidents, sarcoidosis, subarachnoid hemorrhage, cerebral hemorrhage and in fact, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, with which the Hospital still must contend on a daily basis just don’t make the cut? The general public does seem to be aware of them. You do not. No, you have not expressed enough thanks.

    • With all of the logistics and expense that go into something like this you can’t wait.Better to be too early than too late.Besides, as is obvious to those paying close attention, this virus will be with us for a lot longer than just July.

  6. Good riddance! Nothing against beach road weekend, it’s just an atrocious location to have a concert. The kids will need the recreational sports fields once they are finally allowed out and about to play. Thank you for not making them suffer anymore than they already have!

  7. Zero cases of Covid-19 in our hospital. Wuhan was in lockdown for 76 days and are out now. I agree its only April we might have a nice summer yet. I bet the ferry is sold out as usual. I havent heard anything from them.

  8. It is sad to see the event canceled this early. But to be on the safe side it is for the better.
    It is amusing to still see there are people that are still against this event. All the naysayers were pretty much quite once the event went out without any problems. I guess people still had to complain or their day would not be complete.
    “Good riddance, nothing against beach road weekend” really? Sound like some sort of ax to grind to me.
    It’s refreshing to not hear at least someone not complaining about the current president.
    I also don’t think the hospital is swamped, unless the full moon tide has crept up on the main entrance.
    They have it together.
    And finally, the sky is not falling, the sun will come out, and we will have some sort of a summer season.

  9. We all know the haters. Not only the Beach Road Weekend haters but the haters of anything that has to do with anything. I love ignoring them and reading the positive comments. People are damned if they do and damned if they don’t by some people, a small minority. Thank goodness this decision was made when it was made and thank goodness the elected officials all over this island, without exception, have stepped up to the plate and taken us further along than the Monday morning quarterbacking that goes on in chatrooms and this page.

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