When Beach Road Weekend music festival opens, transforming Vineyard Haven’s Veterans Memorial Park into a three-day musical extravaganza, festival producer Adam Epstein plans to step away from his job to revel in the music he has worked all year to bring to the Vineyard.

But duty almost always gets in the way.

“This year the staff has promised that I’ll be able to watch at least a little bit,” Mr. Epstein said in an interview this week at Veterans Park. “I mean, I’ve been wanting to get Patti Smith to play on this Island since 2016 . . . and I’m really excited.”

Since its first year in 2019, the festival has drawn a diverse array of internationally-touring headliners, local artists and concert lovers from on and off the Island. Mr. Epstein said he has been planning this summer’s lineup since before the conclusion of the last year’s shows.

More than 20 bands, including Patti Smith and Her Band, Japanese Breakfast, The Head and the Heart, Caamp and Dispatch will take the stage this weekend. Headliners are Bon Iver on Friday, Mumford & Sons on Saturday and Leon Bridges on Sunday.

Gates open each day at 11 a.m. and close by 9:30 p.m

Despite the rainy forecast for the first two days, the concert is expected to go on largely the same, with a slight shift in the lineup on Friday due to Mary Chapin Carpenter dropping out due to unforeseen circumstances. Friday's lineup now features Maggie Rose opens the festival at noon, followed by Kevin Morby at 12:45 p.m., John Hiatt at 1:30 p.m., Caamp at 2:15 p.m., The Head and the Heart at 3:15 p.m., Patti Smith and Her Band at 4:15 and Bon Iver taking the stage at 5:30 p.m.

The scene at last year's festival. — Ray Ewing

Main stage performance on Fridat will end at 7 p.m., organizers said, with local musicians playing on a smaller stage as festival-goers depart. Saturday and Sunday perforemances end at 8 p.m.

Mr. Epstein is a seasonal resident of the Vineyard but most of his team lives off-Island and arrived on August 13 to begin setting up. An operation this large requires plenty of time and many hands, said Mr. Epstein, though finding lodging for everyone is a challenge.

“Counting folks doing backstage setup and site operations, we have at least 120,” he said. “[They stay] really anywhere that we can find a bed.”

For extra support, he also hired around 125 Islanders for all kinds of jobs, including sound and light system management, traffic control and construction. Mr. Epstein organizes concerts and music festivals around the country, but no production of his has been quite this big and required such deep community involvement, he said.

The town of Tisbury has a contract with Mr. Epstein and his nonprofit, Vineyard Arts and Culture Foundation, guaranteeing at least one more Beach Road Weekend in 2024. But past criticisms from Islanders over the festival’s amplified sound, traffic and use of the park has Mr. Epstein reconsidering its future.

“There’s been a tremendous amount of antipathy toward us,” he said. “And, in many cases, it can be demoralizing... So we will make our decision [to continue the festival or not] after this year.”

Tisbury town administrator John (Jay) Grande has been working closely with Mr. Epstein to ensure that the weekend runs smoothly and causes as little disruption for the neighborhood as possible.

“It’s more fine tuned this year in terms of traffic control... and we’ve sent out more communications than prior years, which is posted on the town website as well as the police department Facebook page,” Mr. Grande said.

The town also hired a turf specialist who surveyed the park before construction began. When the festival closes, they will conduct an additional survey to evaluate any potential damage to the field.

For better sound control, festival workers will travel the town with decibel readers during soundcheck to measure the music’s amplitude. And this year, thanks to a different configuration of speakers, the music’s volume can be lower and still high quality, said Mr. Epstein.

“We are using different speaker boxes targeted at different areas, rather than simply shooting from a single source at a very high volume,” he said. “It’ll hopefully have less of an impact on the surrounding community, and the quality from the inside is going to be exceptional.”

To prevent traffic jams, Mr. Epstein is discouraging attendees from driving to the festival by promoting a shuttle system that spans all three down-Island towns and providing more than 4,000 feet of bike racks. There is no festival-designated car parking available, and Tisbury police officers will be heavily monitoring nearby streets for parking violations, said Mr. Grande.

“Last year I think we had 1,500 bicycles per day,” said Mr. Epstein. “It’s one of the best ways to do it.”

Bringing a large-scale music festival to the Island community is no easy feat, said Mr. Epstein. But he believes that Vineyarders should have access to acclaimed musicians at least once a year. He hopes that the community agrees.

“We have a lot of people who work very hard to deliver something that many people love,” he said. “But there are headwinds. So it’s the marginal public support we get from a few wonderful select people that keeps us going.”

For more information and daily schedules, visit beachroadweekend.com.