Why is the Queen Mary Suddenly So Attractive to Goldenvoice?

Could Long Beach become the home of the concert industry’s next Coachella-esque event? That’s what Goldenvoice is hoping for.

Earlier this month, the concert and festival powerhouse announced a partnership with the Queen Mary, docked in Long Beach. There, the group looks forward to hosting festivals in genres like Latin, urban, electronic, reggae, rock, country and more, beginning in 2018, said Paul Billings, vice president and general manager of Goldenvoice.

Billings considered Long Beach a logical area for music festivals.

“The Queen Mary Events Park has one of those idyllic settings on the water with views of the Downtown Long Beach skyline and The Queen Mary,” he said. “Onboard the ship itself will provide unique music experiences with its multiple ballrooms and decks. The ship has a hotel onboard and there are many other local hotels in the area that make this a great location for people to travel to and easily stay overnight near the events.”

City officials expect the events to further boom the city’s economy, which is already largely driven by large-scale entertainment events.

John Kleisler, economic director for the City of Long Beach, said hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the cities each year for special events like the Grand Prix, Pride Parade and the Long Beach Marathon.

“With great restaurants, fantastic hotels and iconic venues on the waterfront, Long Beach is a perfect place for concerts and festivals,” he said. “As one of the largest and most diverse cities in America, Long Beach already has a built-in market for the arts and entertainment sector. With the growth of the Carnival Cruise terminal, massive investments in the Queen Mary island and the expansion of the Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach is becoming an incredible experience for destination tourists.”

The Queen Mary, which hosted its maiden launch in 1936 during Hollywood’s Golden Era, is already home to such music events as Rock the Queen alt-rock festival, the Shipkicker country festival and the Tropicalia Music and Taco Festival. Billings said Goldenvoice is “in discussions” with Urban Commons, which has owned the Queen Mary since April 2016, about the existing events and how they can contribute to their success.

Billings said the festivals at the Queen Mary will be “boutique in nature,” accommodating up to 15,000 people, compared to Golden Voice’s big name productions, like Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and Stagecoach.

Goldenvoice said concerts are slated to be announced around the beginning of the new year.

In addition to the festivals, Goldenvoice expects to book individual headlining artists, Billings said

Billings, who grew up around Long Beach, said he hopes the events help invigorate the live music scene in the city.

“I hope it inspires youth to play music or work in music, and I want this to be a positive addition to the entertainment landscape in Long Beach,” he said. “Long Beach is an underserved live music market and we are excited to have this opportunity to bring more to this vibrant city.”

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