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Berlin art, music festival expected to draw big crowd

(June 27, 2014) As many as 1,000 people are expected to attend a secret alternative arts and music festival being held at an undisclosed location in Berlin on Saturday, June 28.

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The festival, curated by Matt Dove, former professional skateboarder and owner of Punk Rock Fish Studio, will be free, family friendly and open to the public.

“If you know, then you know,” said Dove. “If you don’t get it then we just want to let you know the motivation and what we’re trying to do without it turning into something that it’s just not really all about.”

Dove said his motivation centers on bringing “youthful art and culture” to Berlin.

“We want people to have a respect for alternative arts,” he said. “I feel like Berlin is an art and history town, which it’s always done well with, but times change and the artwork side of it as far as progression has stalled; the talent is there, but I think the spectrum is lacking.

“I don’t want the place that I live to be looked at as ‘just a tourist trap’ like Ocean City,” Dove continued. “I want it to be legitimate. If I’m going to be an artist here I’m going to do everything I can to round it out. It’s a round world out there; it’s not square.”

Rather than “ruffle any feathers” over the issue, Dove decided to give the public a place to experience the very culture he felt was lacking.

“We want to show them that what we’re doing is really not so different,” he said. “There’s room for all kinds of media, and open mindedness will only progress the area for the arts. Arts attract artists, which, in turn attracts attention which, in the big picture for people that really care about it, attracts visitors and legitimate reasons for coming to Berlin besides the small-town quaintness.”

That quaintness, insisted Dove, will only carry the town so far.

“You come here once you see everything, you come here twice you love it, you come here three times and you might want to see something a little different,” he said.

Last year’s festival drew 500 people and featured a performance from H.R., lead singer of Washington D.C. punk rock pioneers Bad Brains.

Dove is calling this year’s festival “Old Pro,” after the ubiquitous Ocean City golf course.

Six bands are slated for the show: Ocean City-based The Hooplas, Philadelphia skate rock band McRad, Rhode Island group the Loud Ones, featuring pro skater Fred Smith, Ocean City surf rock act the Phantom Limbs, Frederick-based Old Indian and a special appearance from H.R.

All the bands are playing for free. Donations will be accepted and split between the acts.

Four bushels of crabs have been donated to the festival and will be steamed on site, and chicken and corn – Eastern Shore staples – will also be available.

Dove has secured all the necessary permits, obtained insurance for the festival and has hired security – but the location will probably never be officially released, although hints could be dropped by an undisclosed radio station this week.

The station is expected to broadcast from the undisclosed location during the Old Pro festival. Blink, and you might miss it.

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