The Oak Bluffs select board weighed the consequences of diverting Steamship Authority ferries in late August to accommodate Beach Road Weekend concertgoers at a meeting Tuesday afternoon, but stopped short of endorsing or condemning the idea posed by Tisbury public safety officials.

“I just think now, a month shy of an event, to put a public safety note on it is tough for me,” select board member Ryan Ruley said.

The board heard from event proprietor Adam Epstein, Tisbury fire chief Greg Leland and Steamship Authority officials on the plan. Mr. Leland proposed that the 8:30 p.m. ferry from Oak Bluffs to Woods Hole be diverted to depart from Vineyard Haven from Aug. 26 to 28 as a safety measure to accommodate crowds leaving the festival that weekend.

He said the alternate plan for the weekend is to transport concertgoers to Oak Bluffs from the festival via a fleet of buses provided by the the festival.

“That’s a bad idea for your town and ours,” Mr. Leland said.

Mr. Epstein said the diversion was unlikely to affect business in downtown Oak Bluffs, as a large portion of ticket holders will be staying in Oak Bluffs overnight anyway. He said the diversion would act only to aid people who would already be heading to the Cape for the night.

“That would eliminate the need to transport the 800 people from the festival to Oak Bluffs,” he said.

The Steamship Authority declined the request last week, with the ferry line’s board of governors citing potential lost revenue for Oak Bluffs. Some governors also agreed that they would not entertain the idea unless the Oak Bluffs select board signed off on it as a public safety measure.

But some members of the Oak Bluffs select board saw the request as going beyond the scope of their duties. Mr. Ruley said he felt backed into a corner by the request, especially after it was flagged as a public safety concern.

“I think it’s unfair that the Steamship punted to us,” he said.

Board members stressed that even though the ferry is diverted to alleviate crowds on Illumination night, that event is public and no tickets are required. Board member Jason Balboni said he had concerns with the precedent set by a private entity receiving special treatment from Tisbury and the SSA.

“If you didn’t have a concert, we wouldn’t have a public safety issue,” Mr. Balboni said.

Steamship Authority governor Jim Malkin added that the SSA votes on the ferry schedule a year in advance.

“I just think it’s a bad practice for a private function to ask for a diversion of the Steamship Authority,” said Joe Sollitto, a representative on the port council.

Board member Brian Packish said he was fundamentally sympathetic to the public safety concern, but noted he was concerned with the fates of people anticipating an 8:30 p.m. ferry in Oak Bluffs, and those departing from Woods Hole expecting to arrive in Oak Bluffs. He added that feedback he received from the Oak Bluffs Association was negative regarding the diversion.

Ultimately, the board decided to abstain from making a recommendation to the Steamship Authority regarding the diversion, opting to leave the decision up to the Steamship Authority.

Also Tuesday, the select board accepted a $15,000 donation from the hotel Summercamp for the August fireworks display. Members of the board all enthusiastically thanked the hotel for the donation.

“Well, we’ll take it,” Mr. Ruley said.