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Apr 25, 2011 6:58 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Music Festival Cleared For Landing; FAA Approval Pending

Apr 26, 2011 6:20 PM

The East Hampton Town Board last Thursday approved a bid to relocate a large summer music festival to East Hampton Airport in Wainscott from its original site on a farm in Amagansett.

The organizers of the festival, who have started a firm called Music To Know, applied in February to move the event after Amagansett residents mounted a vocal opposition to the festival this winter.

It remains to be seen if the Town Board’s approval means the festival will move to the airport. When reached on Friday, one of the event’s organizers, Chris Jones, declined to say whether the festival will now be held at the airport rather than the farm. “We have no comment on that,” he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration must also sign off on the event before it can be held at the airport. The agency is still reviewing the proposal.

The four Town Board members who were present at the meeting Thursday evening voted in favor of allowing the festival to move to the airport. The fifth member, Councilman Pete Hammerle, was absent.

Mr. Jones, a Sag Harbor resident who owns a hotel in Montauk, said his firm will announce the festival lineup and begin selling tickets next month. The event is expected to attract a maximum of 9,500 attendees over two days, August 13 and 14.

Mr. Jones and his co-organizer, Sag Harbor screenwriter Bill Collage, have pledged $100,000 from the festival’s proceeds to local charities.

The Town Board’s approval came after an environmental review found no “significant adverse environmental impacts,” associated with holding the festival at the airport. According to the board, the organizers cooperated with the environmental review even though it was not required under state law.

In a lawsuit filed in March, opponents of holding the festival in Amagansett argued that the Town Board shirked a state requirement when it failed to perform an environmental review of that proposal before approving it. Critics also alleged 
various other technical errors and oversights with the Amagansett application and its approval.

A split decision by the Town Board in January paved the way for the festival to be held at Ocean View Farm on Montauk Highway in Amagansett. Supervisor Bill Wilkinson, Councilwoman 
Theresa Quigley and Councilwoman Julia Prince voted in favor of it, Mr. Hammerle voted against it and Councilman Dominick Stanzione, a resident of Amagansett and the Town Board’s liaison to the hamlet, abstained.

The approval spurred a group of Amagansett residents to protest the festival at Town Board meetings and circulate a petition, citing concerns about traffic, noise and crowds.

If the organizers move the event to the airport, the festival grounds will be located on a 26-acre field to the south of a closed runway, number 4-22. The festival’s two stages will be situated in the southern portion of the field, near Industrial Road, with the audience congregating to the north, according to Assistant Town Planning Director JoAnne Pahwul. The setup will direct noise to the north, toward the airport, according to the environmental report.

The organizers anticipate attendees bringing 2,639 vehicles to the festival, according to the environmental report. They have plans to set up 3,606 parking spaces in eight locations, including a cleared area directly to the east of the stages and lots on Daniels Hole Road and Stephen Hands Path.

Approximately 2,000 square feet of “native Pine Barrens woodland vegetation” would need to be cleared on the airport property to make way for a fire access lane, according to the report. Town Natural Resources Director Larry Penny has recommended that the organizers replant any disturbed areas with “native grassland species.”

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Great so a bunch of native vegetation will be destroyed for this stupid concert. This place is really starting to SUCK
By Biba (566), East Hampton on Apr 25, 11 11:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
Cut down almost a 1/2 SQUARE MILE of woods so these tools can make a pile of money??!! Who signed off on this rape of the land?! How much do the powers that be get for allowing this abomination to happen?
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Apr 26, 11 7:00 AM
1 member liked this comment
Supervisor Bill Wilkinson, Councilwoman Theresa Quigley and Councilwoman Julia Prince voted in favor of it. Please remember these names come election time and consider supporting their opponents. Councilman Dominick Stanzione took the path of least resistance via abstain vote--which is basically just as bad... They hide behind the $100,000 donation for their "in favor" votes. I am sure there are more election contributions behind that. Interesting how a man leaves $1 million to LVIS, but we ...more
By ehres (2), East Hampton on Apr 26, 11 7:50 AM
1 member liked this comment
2000 square feet is smaller than most golf greens. This is a non-issue. The grass that will be replanted will probably be healthier than what is there now. ehres post is just another attempt to politicize everything that happens in this town. Why don't you lighten up and let some local people enjoy some good music that they wouldn't otherwise have available.
By formertbm (76), east hampton on May 1, 11 2:20 PM
Actually Former, if you read closely the only thing it says is that the Board will merely "recommend" that the promoters of MTK replant the pine barrens they are cutting down. The MTK promoters are not required to replant anything, so what makes you think they will just voluntarily do it? More likely they will leave it as a mangled dirt pile filled with trash, vomit, and urine. We ARE the local people and we do not want a bunch of people who do not live here coming in to throw a drunken college ...more
By localEH (427), East Hampton on May 9, 11 11:13 AM
As a musician and concert-goer I've always welcomed the idea of promoting more concerts/music venues out here but from the beginning this has just sounded like a really, really bad idea. The fact that they have yet to announce any acts either is really concerning.
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Apr 26, 11 8:32 AM
3 members liked this comment
What a bunch of negative complainers. This truly has become the land of NO. The money this concert will generate is greatly needed in the area, will create much needed jobs, even if for a few months and actually could be fun. I'm sure the $1000,000 promised to local charities will be appreciated. The great thing is no one is making you go! I say bring it on and ROCK on!!
By Spikeland67 (25), Sag Harbor on Apr 26, 11 10:25 PM
2 members liked this comment
You don't even know who's playing, how can you say"rock on"? For all you know they won't be able to secure a single decent band. By the way, please explain what jobs this creates and exactly how much they will pay.
By razza5351 (551), East Hampton on Apr 27, 11 10:42 AM
1 member liked this comment
How exactly will this event create much needed jobs for a few months? I do see my tax dollars hard at work for increased police activity. Maybe even a few DWI related accidents...
By ehres (2), East Hampton on Apr 27, 11 8:04 AM
Bigfresh - hope you aren't a math teacher! 1/2 square mile = 10,000,000 + square feet. They are clearing 2,000 square feet - 200 X 10, about the size of the average home in East Hampton. BIG difference. They also are going to replant with native grasslands which adds to the grasslands existing at the airport - this is valuable because grasslands habitat has dissapeared from this island at an alarming rate. It's not like it's going to be paved.

Also, SEQRA was done and as per the state ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Apr 27, 11 9:23 AM
Why does this have to be in AUGUST????? Move it to Sept or Oct . There are a variety of reasons...Number one in my book? Maybe us locals could go and enjoy it on a beautiful fall wkend. As for out of town guests, perhaps hotels would have room for them and concert packages could be available etc..Day trippers are more than likely to "bring their own" food drinks. Maybe a few will get a couple day work out of setting up but as for a huge money maker??Doubt it...unless they have some Huge names that ...more
By gansetteer (125), East Hampton on Apr 27, 11 10:15 AM
"FAA Approval Pending" ???

What are the chances that the FAA is going to approve this in time to plan and hold the event?

Is there any agreement in place to move it back to the original location if the FAA does not act in time?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 27, 11 1:03 PM
I stand corrected on my mathematical error.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Apr 27, 11 4:44 PM
So here we go, the Director of the Natural Resources Department, the person entrusted with protecting our environment, gives the green light to destroy the environment for the purpose of a "Rock Concert" and then replenish the environment with native species. Way to go Larry....you've all but lost your trust with every environmentalist out here!

Tired about hearing how many jobs this will create. Who will they be created for, local folks? I think not, as most of them will already be working ...more
By tothepoint (5), East Hampton on Apr 27, 11 7:52 PM
You East Hampton people are unbelievable. We had Rod Stewart and Bob Dylan at the college, the US Open for a week (3 times!),etc. And Southampton did not implode. In fact it brought much needed side business to the area. Why do some East Hampton residents always ack like jacks when it comes to doing anything that might provide some fun and entertainment for some of its people? Man am I glad I live in Southampton, where there is at least some sense of community and reality.
By mrmako61 (148), southampton on May 7, 11 7:03 PM
Says the person who doesn't even live in EH... If you like it so much, why haven't you volunteered to hold it in your backyard or next door to your house? This is not a concert with Bob Dylan or Rod Stewart! This is a bunch of first time "promoters" gathering up a bunch of no-name no-talent bands to line their pockets off of the local taxpayers of EH. They are not paying for the cost of the police, sanitation, and infrastructure services - I am! They are not benefiting EH or the local community ...more
By localEH (427), East Hampton on May 9, 11 10:58 AM
1 member liked this comment
Dawes??? Thats a big name? Who is it?
By squeaky (291), hampton bays on May 9, 11 10:29 AM
New article posted yesterday. Link above.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 11, 11 5:41 PM