The sound of music will return to the seaside this summer, but the free concerts will be rocking a different venue this year, and just for one weekend.
MCU Park will host the 2015 Seaside Summer Concert Festival later this month, bringing the free concerts back to Coney Island after a hiatus last year when its founder and patron former Borough President Marty Markowitz left office. But as the new name suggests, the event will be a three-day music festival, rather than the month-long series of weekly concerts it had been for 35 years.
Borough President Adams said he is excited to play host for the concerts’ rebirth.
“These shows are emblematic of the commitment to bringing our communities together in a celebration of the spirit that makes us One Brooklyn,” the beep said.
The three-day extravaganza, running July 22–24, will feature JT “The Voice” Taylor, formerly of Kool and the Gang, as well as Starship featuring Mickey Thomas, Latino Music by the Sea with Eddie Santiago, and Puerto Rican Salsa group N’Klabe.
The concert series was cancelled in 2014 awaiting construction of the planned amphitheater at the historic Childs Restaurant — the venue expected to host the shows in the future. That project is still yet to be completed, so the event’s organizers needed to find a new, if temporary, home that made economic sense.
“MCU Park was available while the Cyclones were traveling,” said Debra Garcia, the series’ executive producer. “Because of the existing infrastructure, it made a lot of sense to utilize the venue this year as it cut our costs in producing the shows.”
The truncated schedule this year was mostly due to the limited availability of the Cyclones’ home field.
Garcia worked with Adams and members of the Council, who were ready and willing to help bring the concerts back.
“I am thrilled to have helped bring free summer concerts back to Coney Island on behalf of the thousands of residents who look forward to this great Southern Brooklyn tradition,” said Council Member Mark Treyger.
The Council provided $83,000 in funding, according to Treyger’s office.
The concerts were originally held at Asser Levy Park, but in 2010 nearby Brighton Beach residents successfully sued the private, tax-exempt organization which ran the series to force the event to move. The lawsuit prevailed on the grounds that the concerts broke city laws by featuring amplified music within 500 feet of a house of worship — in this case, two synagogues.
Markowitz relocated the series to a vacant lot on Surf Avenue and W. 21st Street, a cramped spot that hosted the concerts through the summer of 2013.