Hum and haw: Organizers mum on Coney seaside concerts

The Brooklyn Paper
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They aren’t singing just yet.

Last year’s concerts were cancelled, and now organizers of the Seaside Summer Concert Series at Coney Island are keeping mum whether they’ll hold the series this year.

“When we’re ready to make an announcement, we’ll make an announcement — probably within the next week or two,” said organizer Debra Garcia, who declined to say whether the shows would go on.

Former Borough President Marty Markowitz created the free concert series in 1978 when he was a state senator and ran the shows through private, tax-exempt organization Seaside Summer Concert Series, Inc.

When he left Borough Hall in 2014 to take a job as outer-borough tourism czar, Markowitz passed the mic to Borough President Adams, who said he aimed to keep the music going.

But the concert organizers took a rest last year, and like Garcia, “Coming Soon” has been Adams’s tune for months.

“It is my desire to see the Seaside Summer Concert Series return to Coney Island this summer,” the beep said in a statement in April. “We have been working with the organizer and relevant parties to finalize details on this important community effort. I look forward to the official announcement of the final determination that we can announce in partnership shortly.”

Work started in February on an amphitheater, which will occupy the landmarked Childs Restaurant building and an adjacent lot, to provide a permanent home for the concert series.

Representatives from iStar Financial, the company developing the amphitheater, did not return a request for comment. The city plans to pay $53 million for the completed venue, which is supposed to be done sometime this summer — but probably not in time to host the concert series this year.

In past years, shows started in mid-July, and concert organizers announced the line-up about a month prior, so time is running out for the music fest to take the stage on schedule.

Garcia also organizes the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Concert Series at Wingate Field in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, but has not announced that series’ lineup either.

Past performers at the seaside shows include soul maven Aretha Franklin, rockers Cheap Trick, Huey Lewis and the News, Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame, and Brighton Beach native Neil Sedaka.

But silence from organizers may not mean the shows are cancelled, Markowitz said.

“I hear there’s going to be concerts in Coney Island and Wingate Field, but anything I know is just what I heard,” the former beep said. “I think Debra wants to make sure expectations are set where they should be before making an announceme­nt.”

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

uncletanoose from bensonhurst says:
Marty would have found an alternative location for the summer concerts...why can't you, Mr. Brooklyn ! ! !
June 30, 2015, 6:25 am

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