Atlantic City- known for many things. Things like gambling, regrettable decisions, expensive drinks and DJ shows featuring reality stars.
Atlantic City- beacon of summer rock shows? It’s kind of starting to look that way. Specifically Bader Field in Atlantic City, which is becoming the newest place to see multi-day rock shows during those luscious steamy summer months here in the mid-Atlantic.
It all started with the Dave Matthews Band, who played a three day festival there last summer and was followed up by a Rick Ross show. This summer, Metallica announced that Bader Field would be the site of their Orion Music + More festival and now Phish is getting into the mix. The Vermont jam band recently announced that they’d be playing a three day festival of their own in Atlantic City, June 15-17. Organizers, Starr Hill Presents, are saying they’re not done. They hope to add two more music festivals that will also take place this summer, with the goal of each festival appealing to a different audience.
Metallica. Phish. Am I the only one holding out hope for a festival centered around Rhianna?
Bader Field has an interesting history, dating back to it’s opening in 1910, when it was the first airport in the country that came with facilities for both seaplanes and land-based airplanes. Commercial service ended at the airport in 1990 when Allegheny Airlines moved to Atlantic City International Airport. In 1998, Bernie Robbins Stadium was built on the site and was the home to the minor league baseball team Atlantic City Surf until the team closed up shop in 2009.
When the economy tanked, it brought a good chunk of Atlantic City down with it. Hotels and casinos have suffered from lack of business and like any suffering enterprise; the city has been looking for new ways of generating revenue. While Boardwalk Empire-themed tours have yet to pop up, Phish did back in 2010, playing a run of Halloween shows at Boardwalk Hall. Those shows went so well that it was the catalyst for Dave Matthews Band to come. Prior to that show, a good amount of cleaning had to be done to ensure that the facility was safe to use. Now that that’s out of the way, city officials are hoping it will lead to more shows, more people and more money.
About an hour from Philly, two hours from New York; watch your speed and you should be fine.
Tickets for Phish went on sale March 16th.
photo by Kristian Gonyea