A New Jersey Superior Court judge ruled Friday that the BeachGlow Music Festival can proceed with its plans for a two-day concert July 8 and 9 on Wildwood’s beach, rejecting efforts by The Morey’s Organization, which owns several piers, water parks and hotels there, to stop the event.
Morey’s, which sued the City, Mayor, City Commission and BeachGlow, claimed in court filings that a 2014 BeachGlow concert in Wildwood drew so many misbehaving music-lovers and profanity-spewing performers that they drove shocked families off the boardwalk and created a public nuisance and hazard.
In his ruling, Judge NeIson C. Johnson referenced that mission, writing that canceling the concert would be “most unfair” to BeachGlow, which could be forced to dissolve if the concert were canceled. Morey’s, on the other hand, didn’t demonstrate tangible damage they would suffer, the judge wrote.
Concert organizers also made extensive changes in response to Morey’s concerns, Johnson wrote. Those changes included moving the concert location a half-mile away from Morey’s two piers, adding no-vulgarity clauses to performers’ contracts, beefing up security and directing speakers toward the ocean. The concert, which drew a crowd of 7,000 and raised $40,000 for the American Red Cross in 2014, will feature more than a dozen electronic, alternative and pop music performers.
The decision wasn’t all bad news for Morey’s: Johnson wrote that the city and BeachGlow could face unspecified “sanctions” if they renege on promises they made in court.
BeachGlow representatives couldn’t be immediately reached for comment. In earlier court filings and press releases, they accused Morey’s of disguising their true goal – killing the concert in a “monopolistic claim to the entire Wildwood beach” – with phony concerns about the well-being of concert-goers at EDM, or electronic dance music, shows.
Steven Fram, Morey’s attorney, said Friday that he would respect the judge’s ruling but stand guard for any problems that may arise.
“Our concern about EDM events remains,” Fram said. “It has been well-documented that people overdose (on drugs) and have died at these events, as recently as a few weeks ago at an EDM concert in Tampa, where two people died, and another EDM event in Argentina, where five people died. Despite the changes the promoter has made, the risks associated with the event remain.”