No more Beach Road Weekend for Martha’s Vineyard

Event organizers say they will move the concert to Cape Cod in 2025.

Beach Road Weekend will not be returning to Martha's Vineyard. —Jeremy Driesen

The popular three-day summer concert Beach Road Weekend, which brought thousands of visitors to the Island, will no longer call Martha’s Vineyard home.

Vineyard Arts and Culture Foundation announced in a press release on Wednesday that financial struggles pushed the festival and the MV Concert Series off-Island; the foundation says that the music festival will instead be headed to the Cape in 2025. 

Beach Road organizers signed a three-year agreement with the Town of Tisbury that was scheduled to end after the 2024 festival. 

The reaction to the news in Tisbury has been mixed, with many locals disappointed that the concert will not be returning; while some town officials say that the festival was too big for the small town.

Adam Epstein, festival founder and CEO of Innovation Arts & Entertainment, said in a phone conversation with The Times that he returned to the Island in the early 2000s after vacationing here for years to find that all the clubs were gone, all the music venues that the Island had been known for. 

“Touring bands came to the Island all the time,” Epstein said, “and there were places where bands could play. We thought, let’s see if we can bring some of this back.”

His Chicago-based company started off producing the MV Concert Series, Epstein explained, which was successful, filling Island venues before the pandemic. 

“Then the pandemic happened and the whole population on the Island changed,” Epstein said. “The type of person now living on the Island changed and the whole issue of actually going out in public changed. It was a cataclysmic shift in our success … we went from selling out everything on the MV Concert Series to having a hundred people come.

“It was tough to watch and tough on finances. Our sole source of revenue came down to ticket sales.” Epstein said there were some benefactors who were supportive, but it wasn’t enough to save the series. 

Beach Road Weekend presented another set of challenges, he said. 

“Beach Road is a whole different animal,” Epstein said. “Every single person at Innovation Arts worked on Beach Road Weekend every single day. It took that much effort to make this happen. The logistical challenge on an island … coordinating housing for people working on it … we had 700 ferry segments of cargo over three weeks for Beach Road Weekend. Then we had 300 beds a night to find and manage for our staff two weeks before and a week after Beach Road Weekend, and that’s in addition to the guests and the talent.”

Epstein said in other locations, “you would be working with a 700-room Westin and you could make one phone call; here, no property could handle that.”
“We put everything we had into this,” Epstein said. “We worked and loved it … in spite of all the random criticism and lack of being embraced by the town that hosted us, we absolutely loved and relished the happiness that we generated and the economic impact we generated. It fulfilled everything we said it would do.”

The festival began in 2019 in Tisbury with the goal of creating a “destination event that would rival any other in New England,” the release states. But the festival “yielded a significant financial deficit.” 

Despite its popularity, Beach Road Weekend also received pushback from neighbors around Veterans Memorial Park, where the festival is held, over the noise generated by the concerts. 

Reached on Wednesday, Tisbury finance committee member Nancy Gilfoy said Beach Road Weekend was too big for Tisbury. She said that there were impacts to Veterans Park where the concert was held. Gilfoy also said that the concert was a strain on town resources and staff, which are already limited. 

“I think it was beneficial for the whole Island,” Gilfoy said of the benefit to Island businesses. “But because Tisbury is the gateway to the Island, we can’t necessarily support things that are Island-wide.”

But some concertgoers and business representatives are not as happy about the concert going away.

“I’m super bummed out about it. I live in town and went every year,” said Taylor Stone, an artist, as well as a representative of the Vineyard Haven Business Association and the village’s cultural district.

Stone said that not necessarily all of the businesses in Tisbury benefitted from the concert, but any time an event encourages visitors and Islanders to go to Vineyard Haven, that’s a good thing. She was also appreciative of Epstein’s support of artists and businesses in town. “It’s disappointing because he was opening up to more and more collaboration,” Stone said. “Going forward, it’s sad to see what could have happened.”

The 2020 concert was canceled due to the pandemic. Then, despite having sold-out shows and efforts to improve fundraising, “inflationary pressure and supply chain challenges” from the pandemic followed the festival in 2022 and led to losses exceeding $1 million, the release said.

According to the release, festival operators thought the 2022 experience would bring “financial and operational efficiency” the following year, but to “their surprise and disappointment,” the same financial pressures followed and the festival was impacted by “extraordinarily high cost for cargo, on-Island accommodations for working crew, costs for on-Island labor and equipment, and off-Island rental equipment.” 

The release states the festival organizers came to the realization that costs of producing a festival on Martha’s Vineyard were “simply too high” and did not align with the foundation’s fundraising goals. 

“This past Beach Road Weekend was fantastic,” Epstein says in the release. “Seeing Mumford and Sons headline an event we had built from scratch over the span of five years was exhilarating. Yet, the festival had very clear and unrelenting challenges. For every dollar we saved via experience and efficiencies, our costs would increase by two dollars from other factors. We could never catch up. Perseverance and a drive toward efficiency weren’t enough. Hotel costs for our staff, cargo, and ferry-related expenses, and extra costs associated with doing the festival on an island led to an extra $1.25 million in expense each year over what the same festival would have cost on the mainland.”

“We see a pathway where Beach Road Weekend can be successful for audiences and as a vehicle for good, but not with the extra financial challenges presented by the Vineyard’s unique location,” Beach Road Weekend co-producer Joe Kosin said in the release. “So, the festival will take 2024 off for a redesign [of] a location on Cape Cod to be announced at a later date. Same great festival — new location!”



  1. The catch-22s of putting on large music events here seem to have taken another down. Credit is due to Mr. Eptstein for his perseverance in keeping at it for 5 years. JAM..NecterFest…Now Beach Road. Is this the island music festivals go to die?

  2. Thank goodness the select board for Vineyard Haven, will not look like willing pawns in this boon doggle which relied on public land on the cheap without proper regard to abutting taxpayers.

  3. Uh buh bye. We (islanders) won’t miss the added traffic (bus, vehicle, foot), the noise, the destruction of the field, the strain on all our emergency services during the already busy season.

    • Speak for yourself. Plenty of Islanders are very sad that this event is going away. “We” will miss it.

    • A minority won’t won’t miss the added traffic (bus, vehicle, foot), the noise, the destruction of the field, the strain on all our emergency services during the already busy season.
      A majority like it.

  4. This is such a shame. This backwards 1950s island has the worst case of Not in my backyard.

    To all the Cranky people who are too uptight to have a little fun, congrats on ruining something that a lot of people loved.

      • We all know When The Island Was Great.
        The day we arrived.
        It’s gone straight to hell ever since.
        Cause and effect.
        Has Carlos done his part.

    • According to the article, it was just too expensive for them to keep doing it here. So you can stop blaming the neighbors for “ruining” it for you.

    • Agree. I didn’t go but people told me they loved it. The island needs live music and other such events. Hats off to the concert promoters for trying.

    • It has nothing to do with cranky islanders. I think Mr Epstein has shown he was not affected by that aspect. It was about money plain and simple.

    • I guess you weren’t around to enjoy the Island before it was “discovered” and “put on the map” (kind of like how Columbus discovered America).

      If we could only go back . . .

      As for the Beach Road festival, it never made financial sense.
      This was obvious from the get-go.

      So I expect Mr. Epstein had other long-term plans in mind.

      Naive Tisbury selectpeople were the perfect enablers.

      • The original Tisbury selectpeople who approved the festival were fantastic enablers and visionary. They helped enable a great outdoor event that brought thousansds of guests to town for a few days of safe and fun entertainment, and in the process generated over $100,000 each year in donations to island based charities, all while stimulating the hospitality industry and other businesses at the same time.

        Guilty as charged!

      • Did Columbus discover America? Not sure what is being taught in today’s schools as history, grammar and biology are definitely not taught the same as when I was going to school. Then again we had to walk past statues of our oppressors as we entered those sacred halls.

  5. While I won’t miss Beach Road Weekend, I will miss the MV Concert Series. I was nice having national touring musicians out here again. Been a couple decades….

        • Well, those washashores musta got here a minimum of 100 years ago. While I was not born on THE island, my mother was, her mother was and both her grandparents were. As were, I think two more sets of grandparents.
          I spent most of my summers here growing up. I moved here year round in 1984. My maternal grandfather, born off island but an island resident for close to 70 years, had passed when I moved here, but my maternal grandmother was still alive. As well as a couple uncles. And all of them, including my mother, always referred to it as on island.
          My mother will most likely be buried here, but doesn’t come out much anymore. She doesn’t like the change on island. Including the attitude of islanders like you and rosemary.

  6. Nobody “ruined” this. It wasn’t financially viable. That was kind of obvious. It goes with the territory of being on an island.

  7. This is a real let dow, but I can understand it from a business angle. Most islanders supported the weekend, as did I. I drove through VH several times when the event was going and never had an issue with traffic. I wish you the best of luck on the cape and would like to thank Adam, his crew and all that supported BRW.

  8. Adam, so many of us with miss Beach Road Weekend. I have personally witnessed your behind the scenes level of effort on executing this event all but flawlessly and I have been in awe of you and how well it has been done every year. I can’t think of anyone else who could pull this off with the kind of competency that you have. This is the island’s loss, but the numbers have to work to be on the Vineyard. One of my favorite memories over the past several years is of Beach Road Weekend. It’s a magical event. Without you I would have never seen Beck live, my favorite memory from 2022. This is a loss for the Vineyard and there will be nothing like this in the future. I know at times this effort you’ve made may have felt thankless, but know that so many of us have appreciated what you have done with Beach Road Weekend. Undoubtedly, this is Cape Cod’s gain and Beach Road Weekend will grow exponentially with lower costs and a larger space. Please consider Barnstable County Fairgrounds. Thank you for your efforts over several years.

  9. You can’t do anything here on the island that disrupts the status quo.
    You couldn’t build an orphanage or a convent without years of lawsuits and litigation.
    You can’t upgrade the deplorable Stop & Shop in VH because it’s change, and change is bad here.
    You can’t put a rotary up without years of litigation, that it would different than the blinkah and the long lines because people are too polite here, letting other people go before them.
    You can’t even change the grass on the Highschool football field to safer artificial turf. Or is it the color of the turf that the opposition is furious about. I don’t know.
    But that’s why we all love the Vineyard. A place with no red lights, minimal chain stores, wonderful schools, beautiful fire and police stations, and $5.00 + for a gallon of spring water at your favorite up island general store.

  10. Did you commenters read the article? Y’all blaming or crediting MV/Tisbury for ending things when it was the beach road people who bailed cause it wasn’t fiscally feasible.

    • This will probably spell the death knell for anything like this in the future. Anyone considering it will look at Adam and how much time and resources he poured into this, only to throw his hands up in the air and say it’s not viable. Who is going to try to prove him wrong?

      • Or, it could be a lesson on what can and can’t work here. Maybe a smaller scale, a different approach, maybe a different time of year.

  11. This was without a doubt the best weekend of my summer. I grew up on the island and now came from nyc to see it each year but My mom lives in VH and we loved it! So so sad to see this go. Understand that the financial aspects were difficult but such a shame. Brought life to the vineyard.

  12. I live (ok, kinda long) walking distance from the park. traffic and noise and crowds were all managed rather well from what I saw each year of BRW. More importantly, last year they got Dinosaur Jr. and they rocked my face off and I even got a chuckle out of Lou Barlow by requesting and old song over and over, because I was THAT CLOSE to the stage.

    Hopefully someone will figure out a way to at least curate a summer concert series- think of all the groovy outdoor venues that could spring up. Big shows and festivals are great, but shows at small clubs and such are where the music grows.

  13. There will still be a wonderful amazing concert. It will be on Cape Cod and so we will need to travel to go to it but it will be financially viable and will only be beter, and best of all, it will not lose money. It is a win/win deal. The kids get back their playing field, the neighbors are happy, and the island was a testing ground for what will become a fantastic Cape Cod venue that we can still enjoy. It would be nice if buses were in Falmouth for a day trip to the cape for the concert for all who will miss it. Best of luck to you Adam.

    • Frank that is a great idea, and depending on the new location, it wouldn’t surprise me if Adam arranged for bus transportation to the event. The only thing is folks would likely have to stay overnight due to the concert hours so lots will take their cars. I don’t think Adam will forget his Vineyard supporters. I’m excited to see what he comes up with and when…….. this event will blossom for him. His new audience has no idea of what is headed his way.

  14. After several years of listening to how it wasn’t about the money, the reason it’s moved on is because it lost so much money. I do understand and wish Adam all the best.

    • Jackie, it was never about making money, it was about making music, and not losing money, on an ongoing basis.
      The Island can now move on to things like improving our electric infrastructure, something we can all agree on.

    • The reason its moving on is exclusively because the festival couldn’t generate enough money to make a more substantial financial impact on the community of non-profits that needed our support. In spite of the personal financial deficit, we proceeded with the events, and continued to make substantial annual donations to dozens of causes, but for the amount of work and money it took to put together, we should have been able to generate $500,000 to $1million per year.

      When we realized that could not happen because the costs of doing this event on MV increased at an incommensurate pace vs the rest of the world, there were diminished returns.

      As Joe said at the end of the press release, Beach Road Weekend was designed to be a force for good on MV, but if that cant happen on the Vineyard, we’ll do it elsewhere.

      • Do I read correct that it only was canceled because of the lack of hitting the philanthropy targets? That would suggest that the festival was otherwise viable, and maybe could be retooled to correct and augment that philanthropic target. As this reads, the festival was profitable and viable, just not able to donate more than $100,000 a year (figure taken from your previous comment). The logical extrapolation is that the festival is canceled because it could only donate $100,000 a year to charities.

  15. It’s curious why there will be no “Beach Road” Weekend on either the Island or Cape Cod in 2024. Adam Epstein has owned the outdoor Yarmouth Drive-In property throughout this entire experience. The property is quite large and, as owner, he could have easily facilitated the show there at any time, including 2024. If it could be executed in our Island’s public Veteran’s Park, it could certainly be executed on his own property. The difference in logistics are not only negligible, they greatly favor his own needs on his own property. Thus, the question exists of why is he creating the drama of no BRW concert in 2024? And why no MV Concert Series when that has been successfully in operation for years before BRW? Is Mr. Epstein playing games, testing and “punishing” Martha’s Vineyard, while observing and waiting out the public discourse over his actions? The concert would be easily produced on his own Cape Cod property in 2024. The town of Tisbury was (absurdly) told that five years was the tipping point to receive profit participation. That’s exactly when Mr. Epstein deemed BRW was financially unviable here. The town did not renew his contract. As Mr. Epstein was simply using the town and the Island for his own vast array of personal intent, it is entirely rational and wise to shut it down. It’s time to close Pandora’s Box for good before Disneyland also requests a theme park here. An August, corporate sponsored, three day, mega music show, with multiple stages, and VIP tiers of attendees (and minimal affordable local tickets), while using our tax payer public property for weeks on end (in fact), in a residential neighborhood, and infrastructure, without payment — as a private citizen vanity project, was never a good idea. Let’s not make that mistake again.

    • Please do your research before making fraudulent and factually inaccurate statements like these. The Yarmouth Drive in property is owned by the Town of Yarmouth. We LEASED the property from the Town of Yarmouth from June -October 2020 and when our lease expired we ended our successful business on that site.

  16. I worked this event each year as well as the Concert Series. The logistical issues and many moving parts of such an endeavor that Adam and team had to navigate were to me, overwhelming. I for one will miss it tremendously! As a friend of mine said to me, “for only $300(?), we got to see fantastic line ups of music for three days. That was a bargain.” Many of us music lovers will miss the event as well as the Concert Series. I understand the complications for Adam Epstein and thank him for his efforts. Good luck to him and the future “_____ Weekend Festival”. I’d like to say thank you to The Whaling Church, The Loft and the high school PAC for hosting the Concert Series. We are grateful to these venues for hosting the concerts.

  17. Sadly, a superiority complex of a few folks born on-island, in their wish to dehumanize “washashores” as those dreadful “others”, often floods over from these same “superior” people into dehumanizing and spreading the very same lies that just so happen to align with Hamas terrorist goals, the current kings of othering and dehumanizing human beings. I hate when that happens, but there you go. The same self-important people who other others, do it whenever and wherever they can, even to people who liked BRW, worked on it, and loved it, keeping in mind that I happened to think it was inappropriately placed on-island. I wish Adam much success in his future plans to hold this event off-island.

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