A recent announcement that a long-running summer concert series in Hampton is moving has raised some eyebrows.

In a Facebook post, the city announced that Groovin’ by the Bay would be moved from Buckroe Beach to Mill Point Park – in downtown Hampton – due to capacity issues.

Confusion ensued. The beach is a larger space.

But the city thinks crowds will be easier to manage at the park without adding sunbathers to the mix.

“The capacity challenges are not so much a reference to physical space or any issues with concerts, but to crowd management capacity from a special events perspective,” the city spokeswoman wrote. , Robin McCormick, in an email Wednesday morning.

McCormick says the concerts draw 100 to 4,000 people depending on the weather and the performers. The city believes the downtown park is better suited to handle traffic, parking, restrooms, litter control and enforcement.

The city has temporarily moved the concert series away from the beach in the past during busy holiday weekends for the same reasons.

This summer, the beach has been busier than in previous years, according to McCormick. She’s not sure what caused the increase, but said it could be because Hampton recently invested about $6 million in improvements for the Buckroe Beach area.

Moving the concert was “the logical option as opposed to adding another potential crowd of 4,000 to the existing capacity of the Buckroe venue, given the varied and concurrent uses of the beach and the park,” said writes McCormick.

The city has offered the Bayside Beach Free Concert Series since the mid-1980s. The concerts have been branded under different names, but McCormick said it has grown in popularity since switching to the current mix. old tunes, Motown, beach and pop from many years ago.

Moving the concert resulted in the cancellation of some of the performances originally scheduled for this summer due to conflicting events in the downtown park.

The concerts, which take place at 5 p.m. on Sundays, will be held at Mill Point Park for the rest of the summer. This year’s performances will include a concierge show on Sunday. The rest of the summer lineup includes Myra Smith on July 17, Intangible Cats on July 24, Wonderland on August 21, and Joselyn Best on August 28.

Jessica Nolte, 757-912-1675, [email protected]