Updated Jan. 24
The line for presale tickets for this summer’s Beach Road Weekend Music Festival snaked down behind the Post Office and around the side of Cumberland Farms Sunday.
Concert lovers, bundled up against the cold — some with their dogs on leashes and others with baby strollers — awaited their turn to take advantage of early ticket purchase. The 2023 three-day concert is slated for Friday, August 25, through Sunday, August 27, at Veterans Memorial Park in Tisbury.
Fifteen hundred people took advantage of Sunday’s presale, Innovation Arts & Entertainment CEO and Beach Road Festival founder Adam Epstein told The Times. Although unwilling to share the number of tickets sold, Epstein did say that all of Sunday’s restricted passes — which were available for $150 to Islanders who spent $50 at one of five local shops, or donated $50 to Martha’s Vineyard Community Services or the Tisbury School Fund — quickly sold out.
On Sunday, presale tickets at any price were only available to those physically purchasing tickets at the former EduComp building, with all 12,000 tickets up for grabs. Epstein said, “Islanders had access to every seat in the house, they weren’t available online and not available on the mainland.”
On Monday, festival passes were available for purchase to anyone who bought tickets for last year’s event. On Tuesday, passes became available to those who have signed up via email for the “insider presale.” According to Epstein, that meant 60,000 people were emailed on Tuesday alone. All remaining tickets will be up for purchase to the general public Friday, Jan. 27.
Anticipation for the concert passes has been growing ever since Beach Road Weekend organizers announced the festival’s lineup last week, which is set to include performances by Mumford & Sons, Bon Iver, Leon Bridges, Gary Clark Jr., the Head and the Heart, Japanese Breakfast, Regina Spektor, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Kevin Morby, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Gregory Porter, among others.
Sunday’s lengthy queue consisted of Vineyarders from every corner of the Island — including a few members of the Times staff, who chatted with some Beach Road patrons.
Two sisters from Oak Bluffs, Karen Lodge and Nadine Monaco, waited in line to buy the special Islanders’ tickets, also purchasing a couple for their kids.
“We’ve been coming every year,” Lodge said. Her sister said she was looking forward to hearing Bon Iver and St. Paul & the Broken Bones.
“Regina Spektor,” Lodge added, “my son used to dance to her music.”
Tisbury resident Kate Ridenour said she’s excited for this year’s lineup, particularly headliner Leon Bridges. “I’m hoping there are more tickets available by the time we get to the front,” she said. “It’s unclear how many are available.”
In a call with The Times Sunday afternoon, Epstein clarified that although there is no limit on tickets available to Islanders, there is a cap for certain price levels. He did not reveal what those caps are. However, “Islanders have first seats available,” he said.
The event has a capacity for 15,000 entrants, but the number of seats opened would be less than this amount, according to Epstein. He expects the music festival tickets to sell out by the end of this week, and said he was “very, very proud to be able” to give Islanders the first chance to buy tickets.
“This interest is incredible. It’s a wonderful, beautiful scene,” Epstein said about the serpentine line of people waiting to buy tickets on Sunday. “We’re so happy to be able to steer tickets to Islanders.”
Festival promoters are “committed still and always will be [to] getting tickets in the hands of Islanders before anyone else,” he said.
As a result of Sunday’s in-person pre-sale, 68 donations totaling $3,675 were received by Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, Barbara Bellissimo, MVCS Director of Development and Communications later told The Times in an email. As of Tuesday afternoon, another $1,300 in donations went to the Friends of the Tisbury School.
General admission “tier one” ($275) and “tier two” ($325) passes were also sold out by Tuesday.