Pompano Beach Beachfest Music Festival Canceled for 2020 and Potentially Permanently
BY MARIE PULEO | POMPANO BEACH NEWS REPORTER
POMPANO BEACH BEACHFEST: Last year, Pompano Beach announced plans to launch Beachfest, a two-day musical festival starting in 2020, to take place on the city’s main public beach, north of the pier. However, the music festival has been canceled for 2020 and seemingly beyond, as well.
The Pompano Beach City Commission, rescinded a five-year license agreement with event promoter, Beachfest Entertainment, at its July 28 meeting. The Commission had approved the license agreement with the promoter in July 2019 to organize and host the event on a mutually agreed upon date for each year the agreement was active. No date had been scheduled for 2020.
According to city officials, the decision to cancel the Pompano Beach Beachfest was due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year, multiple unknowns surrounding a large-scale event after the pandemic and other contributing factors, which were not specified. According to the City Attorney, the promoter had not “taken any efforts or any measures or spent any money at this point toward any type of event.”
The City notified Beachfest Entertainment that, should the City decide to hold a similar event in the future, it agrees to give Beachfest Entertainment the right of first refusal. However, no future plans have been publicly discussed at this time.
Roy Anthony, who was hired by Beachfest Entertainment to produce the festival, says concerns expressed by BSO in late 2019, along with the COVID-19 shutdown, made it impractical to hold the event this year and the owners of Beachfest Entertainment agreed there should not be a 2020 show. However, they do not agree the entire five-year agreement should have been rescinded.
The promoter had promised to deliver major headlining rock acts, as well as artists from a variety of other genres, including local musicians. The plan called for three stages placed in an enclosed area on the beach, stretching north from the Pompano Beach House restaurant and vendors, including some of the city’s restaurants, set up along the east side of N. Pompano Beach Boulevard.
Depending on the acts secured for the festival, the promoter said it would attract up to 20,000 people per day. The City would have received $2 per ticket sold for entry to the event.
It was hoped the event would bring the city national, as well as international, attention on the tourism destination stage, and have a positive economic impact.
The promoter was to provide a nationwide mass marketing campaign promoting the event, including print, social media and television advertisements, and was to secure event sponsorships, as well as multiple logo and branding recognition for the City.
Anthony told the City Commission last year that the firm usually hires approximately 350-400 people for a music festival, some not just for the two-day weekend, and the promoter would look for local talent to help put the production together.
Additional reporting by Jeff Levine