Battleship Beach Music Festival
6/11, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
n American veteran, part of an elite class and still in prime fighting condition, the Battleship NC (BB55) is celebrating 50 years moored in Wilmington. Everyone is invited to the Battleship Bash this weekend for their Beach Music Festival.
The Battleship considered many different options of events to hold over the summer, but with the best view of downtown Wilmington, an outdoor music fest seemed to suit the occasion. “The thought was to get people both on a local, regional and state level enthusiastic and passionate about [the Battleship],” promotions director Heather Loftin says. “Beach music is a staple in the Carolinas, and music in general is a great way for generations of all ages to come together and have a great time.”
To keep the Battleship NC looking young and spry, she requires lots of maintenance and care. Since the BB55 is self-supported, using no public tax dollars, her preservation relies principally on the ship’s tour admissions, sales within the gift shop and donations.
“To maintain the historical integrity and continue to keep the ship in great condition, we [need] special events like the Beach Music Festival for the funds,” Loftin reveals. “For example, painting the Ship can cost over $200,000.”
The Battleship Beach Music Festival offers a chance to show support and boogie down to the hottest tunes in town. With high expectations of the festival line-up, Loftin says the best of the best in Carolina beach music have been invited: Mark Roberts and Breeze, Jim Quick and the Coastline Band, Band of Oz, The Tams, Chairmen of the Board and The Embers. “They each have unique sounds and bring individual entertainment that will create excitement through the day,” she notes.
The gates open at 10 a.m., but the first show will be at 12:30 p.m. Loftin insists there’s a lot to occupy festival goers, still.
“It is going to be a great experience. Not only will we have a 20 x 28 dance floor, but we will have bounce houses, tiki tents, a Corona lounge, plus food and craft vendors galore.”
All of the music and activities of the day inspire appreciation of what Wilmington offers its community and visitors. The Battleship welcomes blankets and beach chairs to relax in between shag breaks offering all sorts of dancing fun.
All concert-goers can park for free in one of three designated Cape Fear Community College Parking Decks downtown, as the Battleship parking lot will be closed. For no additional charge, guests will be shuttled over to the ship via Wilmington Trolley or Cape Fear Riverboats. Rain or shine, the fun will wind down the last band ends around 9 p.m. Gates will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 11. Tickets are $18 in advance, available at www.battleshipnc.com, or they can be purchased for $22 at the Visitor’s Center ticket window the day of the festival. During the event, the Battleship and Visitor Center Store will remain open. The Battleship NC is located at the junction of Highways 17/74/76/421 on the Cape Fear River.