The executive vice president of a popular EDM concert that has recently generated controversy spoke during a town meeting in Wildwood, New Jersey Wednesday.
Heather Kunkel, an executive vice president of BeachGlow: Concerts for Charity, read a statement during the meeting, defending the concert and addressing several recent allegations. Kunkel's son, 19-year-old Dane Kunkel, created the concert three years ago. More than 7,000 people attended the Festival at East Garfield Avenue and the Boardwalk in Wildwood last year. The electronic dance music show raises money for a selected charity or cause. BeachGlow raised $40,000 for the American Red Cross during last year’s concert.
Another BeachGlow Music Festival is set to take place between two piers in Wildwood over the July 4th weekend. City officials are also in the process of finalizing a three year contract with BeachGlow.
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Yet some in the Wildwood community are not happy about the concert’s return due to complaints the concert received regarding underage drinking, arrests and profanity from the performers.
“We don’t want not only children but adults exposed to this kind of language,” said Steve Tecco, the President of the Greater Wildwood Hotel and Motel Association.
Officials with Morey’s Piers also wrote a letter to Wildwood mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. opposing the concert’s return. The letter cites the 37 arrests made during the last show as well as reports of widespread underage drinking, including an incident in which a teenage boy was found wandering half-naked after soiling his clothing.
“We’re trying to create revenue for the city without blackening the eye of the city,” Mayor Troiano Jr. said. “Yeah, kids get stupid and do stupid things but it’s not just because of the EDM concert.”
In the statement she read during Wednesday's meeting, Heather Kunkel denies allegations that the concerts are associated with alcohol and drugs. She also assured the town that organizers were equipped to handle the event and refuted claims that the city of Wildwood failed to provide documentations of paid services provided to BeachGlow. She also addressed the complaints of foul language and the claim that 37 people were arrested during one of the concerts.