Mayor: Festival to rock Vineland
VINELAND -- The Red Hot Chili Peppers rocking East Vineland?
The funk-rock superstars could be on the lineup at a three-day outdoor music festival to be held in the city Aug. 8-10.
Melvin Benn, a London-based concert promoter, announced plans for the festival alongside Mayor Perry Barse during a press conference at City Hall on Tuesday afternoon.
Barse said the festival will bring international name recognition to Vineland, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue to local businesses.
"It's going to make Vineland a household name, not only nationally but worldwide, and that's a very positive thing," Barse said.
Benn said the festival would be modeled after the annual Reading Festival in Reading, England, which he has helped organize since 1989.
Past headliners at the Reading Festival include Radiohead, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the White Stripes and Neil Young and Crazy Horse.
The Vineland Festival will be held on a 570-acre farm near the intersection of Sherman Avenue and Hance Bridge Road. Concertgoers will be able to camp at the site, Benn said.
Eighty to 100 acts from various genres will perform on multiple stages throughout the festival, he said.
A full lineup will be announced and tickets will go on sale in March, according to Benn.
"It won't be entirely rock music, it will be a mix," said Benn, managing director of concert promoter Festival Republic.
A three-day pass, which includes camping and parking, will cost about $225, Benn said.
The Reading Festival draws about 80,000 people; Benn said the Vineland Festival's inaugural year will be smaller in scale, with an expected audience of 10,000 to 20,000 people.
Benn hopes to make the Vineland Festival an annual event.
"The intention is to start small and grow organically," said Benn, who also produces the annual Leeds and Glastonbury music festivals in England.
The promoters will be responsible for all costs associated with the Vineland Festival, including security and cleanup, Benn said.
"We feel the return for Vineland residents, Vineland businesses and Vineland, in general, will be tremendous without any out-of-pocket expenditure," Barse said.
Benn said he has a three-year lease and option to buy on the Vineland farmland, which is owned by Elwyn New Jersey.
That means the property won't sprout houses any time soon, Barse said.
The public will be allowed to use the property as a recreation area for the remainder of each year following the festival, said Stephen Castellano, an Elwyn official.
Benn said he'd been looking for a site to stage a festival on the East Coast and found the Elwyn property through a real-estate agent.
To produce the Vineland Festival, Benn's company is partnering with C3 Presents, an Austin, Texas-based promoter that produces the annual Austin City Limits Music Festival and Lollapalooza in Chicago.
Live Nation, a Los Angeles-based national concert promoter, is a principal partner in Festival Republic.
Barse, an avowed fan of The Who, wouldn't say who he'd like to see perform at the festival.
But City Council President John Barretta said he's hoping for a local appearance by a personal favorite: Bob Dylan.