When Andy Levine first launched Moon Crush in Atlanta four years ago, the initial concept was to couple a vacation setting with a date-night music experience under the stars, for attendee “vacationers” staying at nearby rentals within close proximity to a golf course, or the “venue.”
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Still designed to bring people together, and within a safe setting, Moon Crush returns this spring to Miramar Beach, Florida, April 26-May 1. Tied to the Super Pink Moon of 2021, the five-day music vacation features performances by Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, The Revivalists, Needtobreathe, Grace Potter, Margo Price, Yacht Rock Revue, Shovels & Rope, Vintage Trouble, The War and Treaty, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Sammy Rae and the Friends, and Lake Street Dive.
Combining the vacation experience with live performance, vacationers staying at the more than 300 beach front homes and condos—located a short walk, or golf cart ride, to the local course serving as the main venue for the outdoor music performances—can attend this spring’s Moon Crush with a trusted group of family and friends.
Already experienced in themed music events at sea, Levine, chairman and founder of the cruise charter company Sixthman, landed on Miramar Beach for this year’s event by accident, after visiting with his family in 2020 and eventually buying a vacation spot there. The close proximity of the beach and a local golf course to the hundreds of vacation rentals was the perfect setting for the next Moon Crush.
“We made a spreadsheet of all the homes and addresses,” says Levine, “then identified the biggest companies down there to tell them about my background with Sixthman cruises, and that I wanted to try to do something similar around the vacation homes in the area.”
After reaching out to artists and other partners, the community began jumping on board, and everything started coming together for a spring Moon Crush. “It’s been really fun to watch everybody get excited about this thing that no one thought was gonna happen or could happen,” says Levine. “I think we’re the first like multi-day music vacation out there.”
To keep with strict COVID-19 safety guidelines, this year’s event will accommodate up to 2,5000 attendees. Each attending party can view performances from their own COVE (Contained Open-Air Viewing Environment)—in varying sizes from two person to larger viewing environments for up to 20 individuals—and enjoy contactless food and beverage service, or opt to bring cooked food from their nearby rental. All attendees are also required to show proof of a recent negative COVID test within the past 72 hours and must wear a mask while outside their designated COVE.
This year, Moon Crush has also invited four frontline workers to attend and is offering one-day passes to individuals (also providing proof of a negative COVID test), from nearby Miramar Beach counties. “When we started this, we said we didn’t want this to be like a circus that rolls into town,” says Levine, who is exploring more ways to year round residents in the area to attend. “We really want the entire community to connect with this event.”
Already planning for the October 2021 event, centered around the Harvest Moon, Levine would like to continue to expand the Moon Crush experience in other destinations with a high density of rental homes, and an accessible, walkable, golf course or green space, as well as expanding future events to accommodate up to 5,000-attendees as a “boutique mini festival” moving ahead. “Our long-term dream goal is to have one of these events around every full moon,” says Levine. “It would be a big dream for our brand if once a month people can go on small vacation somewhere beautiful and connect with people they care about.”
Levine adds, “This is all about creating a safe way to get together with the people you’ve missed so much in the last year, whether it’s your family, your friends, other couples that you don’t see that used to be a part of your regular life, or whoever it is. We’re going to help set the stage for you to be together and really reconnect.”