A Chicago-based event promoter made the case to Tisbury selectmen this week for a weekend-long $1.55 million summer music festival that could attract as many as 8,500 people per day.

After pitching the idea last month, Adam Epstein of Innovation Arts and Entertainment formally presented his plan for an outdoor event in Veterans Memorial Park to the selectmen at their regular meeting Tuesday.

Mr. Epstein, who owns a home on the Island, currently produces the Martha’s Vineyard Summer Concert Series at smaller venues in Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. On Tuesday night his proposal saw an enthusiastic response from supporters, including a number of members of the downtown business

community, and serious qualms from at least one abutter of the park. Selectmen took no formal action but will discuss the proposal again on Jan. 15.

Promoter Adam Epstein has produced the Martha's Vineyard Summer Concert series in recent years. — Holly Pretsky

“Some of you have shared a longing for the days when you could see lots of great touring acts on the Island nightly all summer long,” Mr. Epstein said. “We’re very excited to propose a special weekend-long celebration of community, music, art and food.”

The proposed festival in the large town park and recreation field tucked off Lagoon Pond Road would run from Friday, August 9 to Sunday, August 11. Mr. Epstein said the Friday evening event would likely be a screening of

the film Jaws, potentially with live orchestral accompaniment, ending at 11 p.m. He proposes music events between the hours of noon and 8:30 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. He said the festival would focus on bands that hold appeal for the Island population, many of whom are baby boomers. He said music “within an American Roots sound,” could be expected along with a mix of classic R&B and funk. Mr. Epstein also attempted to address anticipated concerns, namely increased traffic and congestion in an already congested area near downtown. He said the location of the festival near the ferry would help discourage visitors from bringing vehicles, and organizers would account for parking and shuttling from remote locations during the planning process. He said when compared to the Agricultural Fair and the fireworks display in Oak Bluffs, the proposed event was modest, even small.

He also emphasized his intentions to draw Islanders to the event, rather than attracting more tourists from off-Island, committing to making tickets available to Islanders at Island stores first.

Seth Gambino, who owns the La Choza burrito shop on Main street and lives near the park, was unconvinced. He said he was acquainted with the arcana of outdoor music event planning because he was once a live music producer himself, and he shared a lengthy list of concerns.

“Downtown Tisbury is not the right venue. Festivals like this are usually more successful and beneficial to areas that don’t already have a massive influx of seasonal residents and tourists,” Mr. Gambino said.

He cited concerns about light pollution, parking and production crews working late into the night. He said the crowds could limit access to roads and delay emergency response vehicles. He also said neighbors would bear the brunt.

But others said they saw the proposal as an opportunity for Tisbury.

“This would be a good shot in the arm, and maybe a good kick start to something this town really needs,” said Tisbury resident and harbor management committee member Jeffrey Canha.

“We did have overwhelming support for the event,” said Sarah York, who leads the town’s business association, of a recent meeting with business leaders. “What we feel is lacking in Tisbury is a signature event of any kind.”

Resident Dan Doyle agreed. “I hope the board takes a look at it and recognizes it as an opportunity,” he said.

“We have no income stream like this and this is a phenomenal opportunity,” said Jeff Kristal, who is co-chairman of the town finance committee. “The police and fire departments are going to be made whole, so it’s not like town resources and money will be expended to pay for police and fire and ambulance personnel there,” Mr. Kristal said. “If it doesn’t work out after the first year, at least we can say we’ve tried it.”

Selectmen said they will do further research and consult with legal counsel.

“I have gotten feedback from the public of Tisbury universally questioning our sanity for even considering doing this in Tisbury, and that has certainly made an impact on me,” said selectman Melinda Loberg. “However I still would like to explore the parameters of this,” she added.

Board chairman Tristan Israel had some qualms about festival hours, citing daytime traffic around the post office.

“To me, being a good Libra, I see the pros and cons of this, but ... you offered money in one form or another to the town, and we need revenue,” he said.

Mr. Epstein said with bands already accepting offers from other festivals, time is of the essence for him.

“We’re facing a little bit of pressure,” he said.