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Dec 21, 2010 5:36 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Town Clears Way For Music Festival In Amagansett

Dec 21, 2010 5:36 PM

With a stamp of approval on Tuesday, the East Hampton Town Board set the stage for a three-day music festival to hit Amagansett in August, just one week after the organizers unveiled the proposal to the public.

The festival is expected to draw some 5,000 attendees to Oceanview Farm on Montauk Highway on the first day of the festival on Friday, August 12, and about 9,500 people on each of the next two days, according to an application submitted by the organizers, motel owner Chris Jones and screenwriter Bill Collage, both of Sag Harbor.

After the Town Board voted to approve the application during a work session on Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Collage said his next task will be to book headlining acts. He said he planned to start by approaching Billy Joel, 
Paul Simon and Paul McCartney, all part-time residents 
of the East End. With supporting acts, including some local 
bands, the festival should feature about 18 performers in total, he said.

Supervisor Bill Wilkinson, Councilwoman Theresa Quigley and Councilwoman Julia Prince all voted in favor of the festival, while highlighting the event’s potential economic 
benefits. Councilwoman Pete Hammerle voted against it, saying it was “the wrong time of year” and “a bad location.” Councilman Dominick 
Stanzione abstained, saying before the vote that he wanted more time to discuss the proposal with citizens groups in Amagansett.

The organizers first brought their plans before the Town Board on December 14, although Mr. Wilkinson and Mr. 
Stanzione indicated that they had known about the proposal on an informal basis before then. Mr. Collage said Mr. 
Jones first approached him about the idea in midsummer, and it took several months to develop a site plan and shape the proposal.

Elaine Jones, an Amagansett resident, was a lone but 
persistent voice of opposition to the festival, raising concerns 
over traffic and an influx of 18- to 30-year-olds into her 
hamlet. “They don’t need 10,000 people coming into East Hampton in the middle of August,” she said.

Mr. Collage told the Town Board that he and Mr. Jones plan to donate $100,000 of the event’s proceeds to a local charity—a point that Mr. Wilkinson 
hailed as a “private-public partnership” that could “relieve some of the financial stress on the town.” Mr. Collage said that he tentatively planned to 
make the festival an annual affair, depending on how the first run goes, and said he may even pitch a television show based on the event. Both endeavors, he said, would create jobs in the area.

After the vote, Mr. Collage said the total costs of the event are still unknown but will be “significant,” in part because the organizers must pay for a slew of services, including emergency response coverage and security for the festival grounds. The organizers must also cover the costs of having East Hampton Town Police work outside the festival, helping to direct the estimated 3,000 vehicles that are expected to flood into town. “Frankly, I think there’s a 
very low chance of any profit,” Mr. Collage told the Town Board.

Town Police Chief Ed Ecker fielded questions about the logistics of the event from the Town Board and the public, 
and assured Town Board members that his force could “get 3,000 cars in and out of there safely.” Mr. Wilkinson predicted that traffic would be backed up to Southampton. Mr. 
Collage said that he would 
offer incentives for people to ride bicycles or carpool to the 
festival, and his partner is coordinating train service for the festival with the Long Island Rail Road.

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Whoa, what is the rush? Where is the time for public study, debate and discussion?

One week's notice?

Approved during a work session? Is this within the Board's authority under state law (to approve such a massive undertaking in a work session)?

There is more to this than meets the eye IMO.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Dec 22, 10 12:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
What does "there is more to this than meets the eye" mean? I think that point needs to be clarified. Its not fair to make such accusations or inferences without bein specific.
By ammills (24), east hampton on Dec 22, 10 1:26 PM
approved during a brown bag and not giving the public an opportunity to ask questions . In two newspapers we were led to believe they were going to hold off until after the New Year, The reporter didn't put the fact that there were people there who opposed the concert. First concert ever on Route 27./
By housewife (79), east hampton on Dec 22, 10 10:03 PM
Ladles of Love was held at the same location. Went off without a hitch. Get your facts straight.
By ammills (24), east hampton on Dec 23, 10 10:17 AM
Wouldn't it be great if people got together to make this thing really work instead of getting together to whine and nitpick it to death?
By VOS (1241), WHB on Dec 22, 10 10:55 PM
McGintee is starting to look like a saint more and more as the days go by

Word on the street is there is a tremendous amount of voter remorse throughout EH Town

Apparently whats good for Disneyland isn't necessarily good for East Hampton which, btw, seems to have become a Mickey Mouse town all of a sudden
By Bilge Water (131), Southampton on Dec 23, 10 8:03 AM
Mickey Mouse? Disneyland is based on the idea of habing some fun. This Town, in the past, does everything it can to bloack the isea of fun. Congrats McGintee and crew for having some vision and foresight.
By ammills (24), east hampton on Dec 23, 10 10:17 AM
These promoters don't have a clue. First they don't know what the costs are and second they don't have any acts lined up. You would think that the Board would spend some time studying the proposal and asking some penetrating questions like.. have you guys ever run a concert before? Do you know what you're doing?
Where are you going to house talent, crew etc? What a bunch of rubes.
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Dec 23, 10 9:43 AM
Maybe its you who doesnt have a clue. How can you have acts lined up if you dont even have the approval for the show. Maybe this is an opportunity for some people to rent out their homes and recoup some money. Nobody should apologize for thinking outside the box to bring people into town who arent all wealthy second home owners.
By ammills (24), east hampton on Dec 23, 10 10:16 AM
If you watched the hearing on TV you would understand the promoters are planning on marketing prepackaged event services in the future. They want to sell it to any localities around the country who would like to have these types of events. They expect to hire 20 employees for the event services iin the future and 700 workers for the event itself. I'm shocked the board went along with it so quickly. The traffic is going to be insane, kids will be sleeping on the beaches and the town is going to look ...more
By jekgbs (35), East Hampton on Dec 23, 10 11:32 AM
I cannot wait for this cluster%%%% to happen....I love music and i hope they get Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi and Pearl Jam in the middle of Amagansett in August....It will be fun, raucous and what a traffic disaster.......I'm not a betting guy but after this shebang I bet they"ll wish they gave it a little more thought....I want to be a guy from Hardy plumbing trying to make a service call that day....hope I dont need an ambulette that day
By earl (31), springs on Dec 24, 10 1:12 AM
"influx of 18- to 30-year-olds "

This gig has MTV written all over it

Remember, you heard it here first


By Bilge Water (131), Southampton on Dec 24, 10 12:37 PM
elaine can charge for parking on her property its less than a quarter mile away lol elaine
By asurest (117), easthampton on Dec 26, 10 4:30 PM
hahaha EJ should start making vodka-jello cubes to sell at her farm stand for the impending influx of immature inebriates.

Maybe she can get her buddy McGintee to arrange security

By Bilge Water (131), Southampton on Dec 27, 10 11:02 AM
It was curious why our supervisor said he knew about this back in September and yet chose to have a shot gun vote to get this through quietly on a Tuesday morning...unannounced... This concert is THREE days in the height of August on Agriculturally ZONED property with trucks of equiptment and living trailers for the acts and crews which will flood the roads days before and after to set up and take down. Do you think our high end tenants who spend lots of money here in August will want to return ...more
By Sandman (6), amagansett, NY on Dec 30, 10 8:33 AM
You are absolutely correct - it is "THREE days". Not likely to tip the earth on its axis, but has the possibility to inject some cash and fun into the local scene.

Some of your beloved "high end tenants" might even enjoy it.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Jan 1, 11 12:55 PM