A brief but acrimonious rift between the promoters of a concert planned for this summer in Ocean Park featuring the Boston Pops and a group of Island charities who plan to use the event for fund-raising has been patched up — at least for now.
Rick White, a senior producer for Festival Network and lead organizer for the Martha’s Vineyard Festival, told the Gazette yesterday his company is abandoning plans to expand the August 10 concert to a second night.
And after drawing criticism last week from several Island nonprofits for failing to provide detailed information about the event — including ticket prices, ticket availability and a list of performers — Mr. White said all the important details will be revealed this Thursday.
“We will have everything people need to know on Thursday. I can’t reveal a lot of specifics right now, but I can say with confidence this is going to be a great event. People are going to be very happy with what we have to offer,” he said.
Mr. White said the lineup of performers will include numerous acts.
Festival Network has agreed to allow the YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard, Vineyard House and the Friends of Oak Bluffs to participate in a ticket sale scheme for the concert to raise money.
Each group will be allowed to buy between 300 and 350 reserve location seats at face value. The groups can then build a package around those tickets which might include a meal or other entertainment, sell them at a higher price and keep the difference.
Oak Bluffs town administrator Michael Dutton said a meeting was held yesterday morning with town leaders, representatives of the three nonprofits and a Festival Network representative. He said he could not provide details about the meeting, but said he expects the outcome to be positive.
“I think there is a plan under way that everyone will benefit from — the nonprofits, the promoters and the public,” Mr. Dutton said.
Nancy Billings, president of the Friends of Oak Bluffs, confirmed yesterday that a workable solution has been found.
Last week a representative for Festival, Rob Scherer, appeared before selectmen to ask permission to expand the concert to a second night. Several nonprofit representatives told selectmen they were still waiting for crucial information about the concert.
Mr. White said yesterday that Festival organizers had to wait for several performers to give a final commitment before it could announce a final lineup and ticket prices.
“We start working to book acts very early, sometimes a year or more before an event. We would love to provide an early answer to everyone waiting on information, but this is not an easy process. This does not take place in a vacuum,” he said.
He said getting acts to agree to perform on the Vineyard is especially challenging because of the complicated transportation arrangements and expensive lodging. He said he believes it will all be worth it in the end.
“We want to get it right and we want to hold this concert [on the Vineyard] for a long time. This has not been an easy process, it never is, but we want to build a relationship with the community that lasts,” he said.