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Jul 8, 2011 5:10 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

MTK Festival Organizers: $100,000 Pledged To Charity In Escrow Account

Jul 12, 2011 5:27 PM

The organizers of the MTK: Music To Know festival said last week that they have deposited the $100,000 they pledged to local charities into an escrow account.

Critics of the festival have raised doubts about whether or not the organizers would come through with the donation, which was promised to the community when the East Hampton Town Board agreed to allow the two-day festival to go forward at East Hampton Airport.

“The money has left our account,” one of the organizers, Chris Jones, said last Friday. The funds, he said, will not be released until the festival on August 13 and 14.

The event, which will be headlined by indie acts Vampire Weekend and Bright Eyes, is expected to attract as many as 9,500 people.

MTK has been in discussions with the East Hampton Town Board on how to divvy up the donation. At a work session on Tuesday, Town Board members said they planmned finalize the list at their next work session. The draft list includes a East Hampton Day Care Learning Center, The Retreat, Project Most, local food pantries and a long list of other organizations.

Last Tuesday, Mr. Jones also got the approval of the East Hampton School Board to use the high school’s parking lot for overflow parking.

He attended the board meeting prepared to offer the school district a $10,000 donation, plus $5,000 if the parking lots fills up, but School Board members said he had made a more attractive offer earlier on.

The way that board members Laura Anker and Alison Anderson remembered it, Mr. Jones had previously offered $10,000 plus another $10,000 if the lot filled up.

“It just sort of broke down a little bit of that trust,” Dr. Anker said, adding that she already had concerns about the “slippery slope” of accepting private money to use public property in the first place. “I think the public has an obligation to educate its children,” she said.

After some resistance, another board member, George Aman, persuaded Mr. Jones that a flat $15,000 would make “a nice compromise.”

Mr. Jones had already promised to provide security, to augment liability insurance if necessary, and to have “police checks” of people as they get on shuttle buses headed to the high school property. The parking lot has about 500 spaces, Dr. Anker said.

The board approved Mr. Jones’s request unanimously.

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Hope no one tries to land during the concert..just saying..
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on Jul 9, 11 8:43 AM
Didn't the original article state $150,000?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 11, 11 11:25 AM
Yes, the original article incorrectly stated that it was $150,000. In fact, the actual amount is $100,000.
By Bill Sutton, Managing Editor (117), Westhampton Beach on Jul 11, 11 11:37 AM
Was the 50k error the Press's or MTK's?

Has the EH Town Board verified the escrow account, and the placement of the 100k to it?

"Many Rivers to Cross" here IMO.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 11, 11 6:30 PM
PS to the Editors,

If you change a headline and the text of an article to reflect a 33% error in an escrow account (50/150), could you somehow make this clear on your own proactive initiative in a note or addendum to the original article, instead of relying on an observant reader such as Nature to make this clear to all?

Thank you.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 11, 11 6:34 PM
Has the escrow account been verified by the EH Town Board and its accountants and auditors?

Is everything on the up and up here?

What is wrong with this picture?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 17, 11 8:06 PM