WILDWOOD — In March, Mayor Ernie Troiano said the city was planning seven beach concerts this year between May and September.
It’s now mid-June, and no concerts have been announced. The reason, Troiano said, is because Atlantic City’s beach concert promoter, Live Nation, has hindered his city’s efforts to draw acts to this doo-wop-themed resort.
“The city of Wildwood has been dealing with this ‘90-90 rule,’ where they protect Atlantic City,” Troiano said, referencing a clause he says Live Nation signs with performers prohibiting them from performing within 90 miles of Atlantic City in the 90 days after their Atlantic City show.
Live Nation declined to comment on competition for beach concert acts between Wildwood and Atlantic City. The company did not respond to a question last week on whether distance and time between concerts is included in performers’ contracts.
Live Nation already has booked three-time Grammy Award winner Pink and country star Brantley Gilbert to perform in July on the beach in Atlantic City, and others are planned.
“There will be other announcements coming,” said Rachel Spivak, a spokeswoman for Live Nation.
Troiano said Wildwood will be able to announce its beach concerts “any day now.” The city hopes to hold at least three concerts this year, he added.
“We just hope some of those executives come to see the bigger picture,” Troiano said. “Wildwood is not in competition with Atlantic City.”
Rumors have been swirling in Wildwood about a possible Bruce Springsteen beach concert, after The Boss was spotted on the island twice in the past few weeks. Troiano declined to name any potential performers, preferring to wait for an official announcement.
“We did the (Kenny) Chesney (concert) in 3½ weeks,” the mayor said. “He came here and said it’s the best show he’s ever done.”
Earlier this year, talks broke down between the city and Beach Ball LLC, a New York-based company with ties to billionaire Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.
The mayor said he is now working with promoter Allan Nau, who was named as a producer under the proposed agreement with Beach Ball. He helped organize the 2012 Chesney beach concert in Wildwood and has worked on similar events in Asbury Park and Seaside Heights, according to a letter drafted by City Solicitor Mary D’Arcy Bittner last year.
Last summer, Wildwood staged a July 4 concert featuring Tim McGraw. The city made $25,000 from the event, plus about $5,000 in revenue from parking cars on the beach during the show, according to the concert’s promoter, Amanda Thomas.