Oceans Calling Festival Underway in Ocean City


Just after the gates opened Friday at noon / Image courtesy oceancitylive.com cams

The first annual Oceans Calling Festival has just gotten underway in Ocean City. The gates open each day at noon. There is live entertainment on three stages throughout the day. For Festival-goers – there are also plenty of locations both around the festival venue and on the boardwalk for food, shopping or rides on the pier or just kicking back between events.

The Boardwalk between North Division Street and the South end of the Boardwalk is part of the Festival grounds and you can only access that part of the boardwalk if you have tickets for the Festival. The boardwalk between North Division to 27th Street remains open for non-festival-goers.

Getting around in downtown Ocean City will see changes during the festival – there will be alternate traffic patterns beginning at 8pm each night along with increased pedestrian congestion through Sunday. Parking is available at the West Ocean City Park & Ride, Convention Center Parking Lot and the 100th Street municipal lot.

Information from the Town of Ocean City:
The Oceans Calling Festival will take place from Friday, September 29, 2023, through Sunday, October 1, 2023. This event will be one of the busiest events the Town of Ocean City has hosted. The Ocean City Police Department will be implementing an alternate traffic pattern in the downtown area in anticipation of increased pedestrian congestion after each day.

The alternate traffic pattern will begin being set up after 8 p.m., each day to assist with the flow of traffic, OC Beach Buses, and pedestrians trying to leave after the festival. Here is what you can expect in the evening hours:

  • Traffic will be prohibited from traveling south of N. Division Street.
  • The south turn lane off of the US Route 50 bridge onto Philadelphia Avenue will be restricted to emergency vehicles, mass transit vehicles, and residents only.
  • Vehicles will be diverted onto N. Division Street and then north on Baltimore Avenue.
  • A traffic pattern will be established to direct all southbound traffic on St. Louis Avenue to 2nd Street towards Philadelphia Ave.
    • Southbound traffic on St. Louis Avenue will be restricted to emergency vehicles, residents, employees, and patrons of downtown businesses.
  • Northbound traffic on Baltimore Avenue from S. Division Street to Talbot Street will be reduced to one lane of travel for vehicle traffic.
    • Lane 1 will be designated for vehicle traffic.
    • Lane 2 will be utilized to stage mass transit vehicles for passenger arrival.
    • Lane 3 will be designated as a safety lane.

All traffic patterns and closures are scheduled to occur after 8 p.m. each festival day to be fully in place for the conclusion of the event. The traffic patterns will be put in place to allow for the maximum number of mass transit vehicles, and to provide plenty of area for pedestrians to exit the venue area. The traffic pattern will resume normal after the downtown area is cleared of festival goers.

We would like to remind residents and visitors that the OC Beach Bus will be operating in a reduced stop, express service mode to expedite crowd movement during and after the festival. Certain stops will be inactive during the three-day weekend. Affected stops will be marked with signs directing passengers to the nearest available active stop. Riders needing special mobility assistance may coordinate pickups at inactive stops by calling Dispatch at (410) 723 1606 and may coordinate drop-offs directly with their driver.

For a map depicting the stops that will be in use, and for additional travel details during the festival, see https://support.oceanscallingfestival.com/hc/en-us/articles/9503497176084-How-do-I-get-to-the-festival

Finally, remember to always walk smart. Cross at and within marked crosswalks, follow all traffic signals, and use the sidewalks. Always bike smart. Use designated bike lanes, follow all traffic signals, and ride with traffic. Always drive smart. Slow down, stay alert, and drive sober.