Rain and wind were not enough to deter concertgoers in Atlantic City early Saturday afternoon as people walked onto the beach for BeachGlow Music Festival before it shut down due to inclement weather.
Heather Kunkel, BeachGlow executive vice president, said Atlantic City officials closed down the festival less than midway through for safety concerns.
Earlier in the day, ticket holders walked into the concert space wearing neon green and orange shirts, bathing suits, black fur boots, body glitter and rhinestones, while organizers handed out waterproof phone cases.
The weather might have caused a less than busy crowd, but some dedicated electronic dance music fans were ready to party all night long.
“The energy that everyone has, everyone is so excited to be here,” said Thalia Esteves, of Allentown, Pa.
Esteves came across the state for the one-day EDM concert, hosted by BeachGlow Concerts for Charity. She sat under a white tent as Matt Deifer, owner of Bodypaint.Me, painted a sunflower on each cheek to match her flower headband.
The Philadelphia-based body paint company appeared at the festival in 2014 when it was held in Wildwood. Complaints from local businesses about intoxicated concertgoers and foul language on stage forced the organization to find a new home in Atlantic City this year.
There was a number of people who traveled the distance to attend the concert on Saturday, including Leticia Nunez and Ashley Altreche, both from Reading, Pa. Altreche said she’d never been to an EDM concert before as she watched another friend get a henna tattoo under one of the tents.
“It’s just fun coming here to be around all these people having a good time,” Nunez said. “We don’t like to go to places where people are bored.”
Vendors on the beach sold BeachGlow apparel, food and drinks while Metro PCS had games and phone charging stations. Groups of people played in teams of two at corn hole sets while others attempted to play volleyball against the strong winds.
While EDM was played on the main stage, which featured performers like Virginia-based Kids Want Techno, Dane Kunkel, festival founder, and Almond, a different kind of music played on another part of the grounds.
Music teachers and members of Little Kids Rock, a national charity organization helping public school music programs, were there as the benefactors of this year’s festival. Keith Hejna, communications officer, said the organization would use the money raised from the concert toward helping Philadelphia and Atlantic City school district programs.
“We’ve been looking for funding for the Philadelphia area for some time now,” he said. “And in the Atlantic City school district, we’ll be able help schools equip classrooms with 30 instruments, including guitars and keyboards.”
Hejna said the Verona-based organization also provides training programs for public school music teachers who want to become certified Little Kids Rock teachers. As budget cuts are sometimes made to arts programs, “music is just as important as a regular education,” he said.
Though many people at the concert danced and enjoyed the music at center stage, some were not as happy to be on the beach in poor weather. Cassidy Pinchovski and Maggie and Emily Smith, all of Pennsylvania, had hoped it would clear up for the expected 5,000 plus spectators.