EI Beach Music Fest

After a successful rebirth in 2016, the Town of Emerald Isle is planning for its second Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival. Slated for Saturday, Sept. 30, organizers are hoping to double the more than 9,000 music lovers who flocked to the Western Ocean Regional Access point for last year's event.

Running from 11am to 6pm on Saturday, Sept. 30, visitors can enjoy the music of Sammy O'Banion, Fantastic Shakers, Band of Oz, Too Much Sylvia, Embers and Chairmen of the Board. Everyone is invited to attend. Parking will be available along Hwy 58 with special needs parking at the ocean access point. Beer and wine are allowed, but only on the beach strand.

This isn't really a new event for Emerald Isle – but rather a reorganized take on a decades old celebration of beach music. Emerald Isle was the place to be each May in the 80s and 90s, as the Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival lured North Carolinians to the beach for what many pegged the “party of the season.” Sun, sand, bathing suits, music, a few Hawaiian Tropics competitions and great 80s hair were front and center for one of the largest annual events the Crystal Coast had seen. It was started in 1979 by former mayor Ronnie Watson and according to news accounts, attendance could reach up to 15,000 each year, especially if the weather was ideal. But after a 20-year run, the music came to an end – at least until town officials were ready to give it another go in 2016.

“The town is very excited to bring back the Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival, which was incredibly successful in the 1980s and 1990s and helped to put Emerald Isle on the map," Town Manager Frank Rush said last year. “We’re also excited to have the festival on the beach strand itself, with the stage constructed atop the dunes, facing the ocean, with the audience on the beach. It should be a great day in Emerald Isle, and encourage everyone to enjoy it with us! It’s free to the public!”

Keep in mind that umbrellas and tents are not permitted within 100 feet of the stage. No beer or wine will be sold on site, although a variety of food vendors will be on hand. With organizers hoping to top 15,000 guests this year, we suggest you arrive early for easy parking and a good vantage point on the beach. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome.

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