Demi Lovato’s apparent drug overdose this week has led to her Thursday show in Atlantic City being canceled, and local concert organizers scrambling to find a replacement.
Lovato was set to headline the Atlantic City BeachFest Concert Series. Early Tuesday, the 25-year-old was reportedly revived by her friends with Narcan, an emergency medicine used to reverse the effects of a heroin or opioid overdose.
Live Nation, the BeachFest concert organizer contracted by the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), says Thursday’s rebooked show will now be a free concert. Cheat Codes, an electronic music DJ trio, will serve as the headliners in replace of Lovato.
“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with Demi and her family,” Live Nation Philadelphia President Geoff Gordon told the Press of Atlantic City. “We’re fortunate that Cheat Codes wanted to join us on the Atlantic City beach tomorrow for a free concert.”
During the May announcement of her Atlantic City show, Lovato told fans, “Since this is my only East Coast show of the summer, I wanted to do something a little different. And nothing screams summer more than the BEACH!”
The recent openings of Hard Rock and Ocean Resort have brought an influx of visitors to Atlantic City. Casinos were packed over the July 4 holiday, with resorts charging premium nightly rates in the $400-$500 range.
For the town to support two additional casinos, that trend will need to continue. Fitch Ratings said in a note last fall, “The market has shown signs of stabilization. There is a concern with the increased supply that will be created.”
Others believe the resorts have enough to offer to entice former Atlantic City patrons who now have casinos closer to their homes to return.
The formula for feeding an oversaturated market in part is to expand the amount of guests visiting the city,” gaming consultant and Fairleigh Dickinson University Adjunct Professor Robert Ambrose stated. “This is no longer just a casino city.”
The summer beach concert series, which the CRDA is spending $1 million to organize, seeks to help accomplish that goal. In 2016, the state agency charged with facilitating economic and community development in Atlantic City, reached a $6 million deal with Live Nation for the concert promoter to put on six headlining shows over three summers.
Each of the six concerts is to be with an artist who draws 30,000 or more people.
With Lovato canceled, the 2018 Atlantic City BeachFest Concert Series will feature only one true headlining act. Las Vegas regulars The Chainsmokers will perform this Sunday, July 29.
Ticketholders for Thursday’s Demi show can use their tickets for The Chainsmokers performance. Those who choose not to can receive refunds wherever they purchased the tickets.
Pink was the largest summer beach concert a year ago, with the three-time Grammy winner selling nearly 50,000 tickets.