A look back at the history of the Carolina Beach Music Festival: The longest running beach music festival still held on the beach in the United States

Carolina Beach is the birthplace of beach music, so naturally it’s also home to the longest running beach music festival that is still held on the beach in the United States. And it’s happening this weekend.

Carolina Beach is the birthplace of beach music, so naturally it’s also home to the longest running beach music festival that is still held on the beach in the United States. And it’s happening this weekend.

This will mark the 34th year of the Carolina Beach Music Festival.

The first year of the festival drew about 10,000 people to the beach town.

Greg Reynolds, president of the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce and one of the festivals organizers, says the die-hard beach music fans will always make their way back to Carolina Beach for the event.

Reynolds even happened to stumble upon one of the very first festivals back in the day.

He happened to be vacationing in the area at the time when he saw all the people on the beach and heard the music.

“I was lucky enough to have stumbled across it and as I was walking on the beach, I kept hearing more music and seeing people filing out left and right and he closer I got, the bigger it was,” Reynolds said. “And it was a whole lot of people and they had the stage on the beach. Probably about 10,000 people.”

Reynolds said the festival slowed down after that. The first year it was sponsored by Budweiser and admission was $1 per beer. After that it went to a ticketed event.

Reynolds said they almost had to cancel the festival at one point because attendance was getting so low.

“We started looking around to see what the difference was and it was, can you bring your cooler on the beach or not,” Reynolds said. “So we said, ‘Fine, bring your coolers on the beach. Raise the ticket prices.’ And it’s been rolling ever since.”

Today the festival averages an attendance of around 3,000 to 4,000 people.

The bands performing at the festival this year will be Band of Oz, Blackwater Rhythm & Blues Band, and Jim Quick and Coastline.

The lineup for the day goes as follows:

Band of Oz – 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Blackwater Rhythm & Blues Band – 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Jim Quick and Coastline – 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

 

Gates open at 10 a.m.

You can buy a ticket in advance for $25. Tickets are $30 if you buy them the day of the festival.

Coolers are allowed on the beach. However, you are not allowed to have glass. No pets either.

To purchase your tickets online, click the link here.

For more information on the day, visit the Pleasure Island NC website here.


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