The Claridge Hotel
Atlantic City, NJ
June 7, 8 and 9
Atlantic City has long been hailed one of the premier entertainment meccas of the east. While focused mainly on gambling, many other musical, stage and entertainment events have been performed at the original city by the sea.
While known for its casinos, beaches, and boardwalk, Atlantic City has also scored big when it comes to entertainment options that swerve from the norm. From the very first days that Jonathan Pitney discovered money to be made at the shore with health and fitness ideas to the rise of prohibition era gangster Enoch L. “Knucky” Johnson, who made Atlantic City’s golden years a proverbial hit the Jersey Shore paradise was the place to be. The ‘30s through the sixties saw the rise of the club and rooms such as Club 500, The Clicquot Club and The Jockey Club saw many famous stars on their stages throughout the following decades.
Legalized gambling came to town around 1976 and with it came boxing and big-name acts that appeared in the bevy of new casinos along the strip. But with the influx of people came problems, and crime and corruption helped dull the one bright image of this visionary retreat. Eventually, the razzle faded and Atlantic City had to start looking elsewhere to keep its name shining on the runway. And while Atlantic City is still considered a gambling mecca, it has opened its doors and changed its attitude to include new and compelling entertainment to keep people coming to the hotels, businesses, and restaurants that need outside income. And while that has been going on for years now, it gives me great pleasure to announce a music festival hosted in the Claridge Hotel this June.
Off The Record Music Festival is celebrating its five-year anniversary at the city and venue, and they are bringing some impressive acts to draw fans and fanatics to the seaside paradise. Off The Record Music Festival (OTR) returns to Atlantic City, offering festival-goers a three-day boutique music festival experience. The festival begins Thursday, June 7 and ends Saturday, June 9 at The Claridge Hotel in the Celebrity Theatre, and, weather permitting, outdoors at the hotel’s rooftop bar, The VÜE, Atlantic City’s only Rooftop Bar & Lounge.
OTR is a boutique festival experience, and all attendees are offered VIP passes for the weekend, as the artists are encouraged to mingle and connect with their fans for an intimate, rare festival experience. Another unique feature of OTR is the “late night jams” in which attendees and artists informally play, sing, and create together long into the night. The festival sells a limited number of tickets (250) to ensure that all attendees have an exceptional experience, excellent sight lines for shows, and an opportunity to meet their favorite performers.
OTR launched in the Carolina initially, however, since relocating to Atlantic City in 2016, OTR has attracted hundreds of music fans from all over the world. This year’s festival line-up includes OTR veterans Hey Monea, Paul Pfau, (The Voice), and Philadelphia artists Matt Duke (who I have covered here in the past) and Andrea Nardello, to name a few. New to the lineup this year is Tony-nominated, American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis, as well as up-and-coming singer/songwriter Whitney Woerz.
Additionally, OTR has partnered with MILE (Music Is Love Exchange), a network of artists, musicians, and music lovers affecting change in the lives of disadvantaged and underserved children, strengthening families and communities both in the U.S. and abroad. During the day on Friday, June 8, artists and attendees will donate their time and service at the Atlantic City Rescue Mission in whatever way is needed. The MILE supports the effort of touring artists, working with them to create interest in and visibility for the cause. They intend to enable artists to improve the communities that they travel through.
“Atlantic City has opened its arms to OFF THE RECORD! From the people at the Claridge and neighboring casinos to the local artist community, to our service work at the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, it is obvious that our festival is making a welcomed and positive impact in town,” says event producer Jason Spiewak. “Our event is family friendly and is a great way to meet and interact with music fans of all ages.”
Three-day passes are $229, and two-day passes (Friday & Saturday only) are $199. Kid’s passes are also available for $49 for 12 and under with an accompanying adult pass holder.
When it comes to talking about The Claridge, this is what the event coordinators told me. An Atlantic City landmark and legend, the historic Claridge — a Radisson Hotel stands at the corner of Park Place and Boardwalk, overlooking the ocean and Brighton Park. Opened in 1929, this Art Deco architectural gem was once, at 24 stories, the tallest hotel in America and known as “The Skyscraper by the Sea.” In October 2016, the Claridge Hotel became a part of the Radisson Family, the Carlson-Rezidor Hotel Group. The Claridge offers 500 luxurious guestrooms and suites, many with ocean views and Jacuzzi tubs. The recently opened Conference Center at the Claridge brings the hotel’s meetings and event space to over 100,000 square feet. Dining and entertainment options include two cocktail lounges and the new VÜE, Atlantic City’s only Rooftop Bar & Lounge, at The Claridge.
For more information, visit the claridge.com or call 1.844.224.7386. You can also connect with Claridge on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram. For more information on Off The Record (the full lineup, how to purchase passes), head over to offtherecordfest.com.