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May 9, 2011 9:54 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Vampire Weekend, Bright Eyes Will Headline MTK Festival

Editor's Note: For more information on the concert, visit www.musictoknow.com
May 10, 2011 4:30 PM

Two major acts—Vampire Weekend and Bright Eyes—will headline the first MTK Music to Know festival this summer, joined by a strong lineup of supporting bands from the indie genre, festival organizers announced Monday evening.

Vampire Weekend, a chart-topping band that has emerged out of New York City in recent years, will headline the show on Saturday, August 13, while Bright Eyes, a folk band from Omaha, Nebraska, that has enjoyed mainstream success as well as celebrity status in indie circles, will top the roster on the second day of the festival on Sunday, August 14.

The festival will feature 18 bands in total, including other well-known acts like Matt & Kim, Cold War Kids, We Are Scientists, Chromeo and M. Ward.

Vampire Weekend and Bright Eyes—as well as a few of the supporting acts—are almost certain to draw large crowds to the festival, which will be held in a field at East Hampton Airport in Wainscott. MTK founders Chris Jones and Bill Collage, both Sag Harbor residents, have said they expect as many as 9,500 people to attend over the course of the two-day event.

Mr. Jones, the owner of Sole East Resort in Montauk, and Mr. Collage, a screenwriter, announced the lineup during a kickoff party at Townline BBQ in Sagaponack on Monday, shortly before tickets for the festival went on sale at 8 p.m. that evening. Mr. Jones described the lineup as one that “frankly, challenges everybody else out there,” including established festivals.

Two-day general admission passes are $195, while special VIP passes are $695.55.

Mr. Jones said Monday that the Federal Aviation Administration has not yet approved the festival, although he said he was confident the agency would sign off on it within days.

The two organizers said landing the two main acts was not an easy task. In a testament to the band’s popularity, Bright Eyes, according to Mr. Collage, will open for Coldplay at Chicago’s Lollapalooza festival, which takes place just before MTK, from August 5 to 7. MTK will be the band’s first performance on Long Island, he said.

Vampire Weekend, Mr. Collage also said, opted to play MTK even though the band has not been touring lately and has recently turned down other festivals.

Other acts on the festival’s roster include Tame Impala, Ra Ra Riot, Tom Tom Club, Dawes, Fitz & The Tantrums, The Naked and Famous, The Limousines, Young Empires, Nicos Gun, Suddyn, and Francis and The Lights.

When presenting the concept for the festival to the Town Board last winter, the organizers said they envisioned an annual event possibly supplemented by a locally filmed television show featuring musicians that runs throughout the year, similar to Austin City Limits.

Also announced on MTK’s website Monday were the local charities that will receive a total of $100,000 that the organizers have pledged from the festival’s proceeds. Recipients will include Phoenix House, a substance abuse treatment center; The Retreat, a shelter for victims of domestic abuse; East End Hospice, a home health care service; Camp Good Grief, a bereavement camp for children; the Surfrider Foundation, an environmental protection group; East Hampton Public Library; the Wainscott Food Pantry, which is run out of Living Water Full Gospel Church; and the Katy’s Courage Scholarship, named after Kathryn Stewart of Sag Harbor, who died of cancer last year at age 12.

The MTK festival originally received approval from the Town Board to take place at Ocean View Farm in Amagansett, but residents of the hamlet protested and filed a lawsuit, spurring the organizers to request to move the festival to the airport.

A layout of the festival grounds the organizers provided on Monday shows the grounds overlapping with the southern end of Runway 4-22, which is unused. A pair of rotating stages will stand about 300 feet from the end of the runway, near Industrial Road, backed by a 3,200-square-foot production area; the audience will congregate to the north of the stages. Lining the sides of the runway will stand tents showcasing East End chefs, microbreweries and wineries, as well as fashion, according to the layout.

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ok i know i am 50, but who the heck are these bands??? never heard of one! and i still say august is a bad choice..switch it to sept or oct. let the locals appreciate something if they choose..and will there be garbage cans since pete wants to install a bring in and carry out? nitemare....
By gansetteer (125), East Hampton on May 9, 11 11:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
OK...great...just let me lay down that $400 DOLLARS!!! for me and my wife to hang out for this bash (general admission and one beer each). So putting aside all the hassles...FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR A PAIR OF TICKETS?! Thank you very much. NOT.
By zaz (197), East Hampton on May 9, 11 11:13 PM
2 members liked this comment
oh boy cant wait, garbage
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on May 9, 11 11:15 PM
Actually, Garbage is a GREAT band, and the lead singer is HOT!!

By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 10, 11 5:27 PM
2 members liked this comment
Ok, yes it is pretty pricey...but i think this is a great idea and something very much needed out on this end of the island. And actually, there are a lot of really cool bands in the lineup. if you are 50, i'm sorry, no, you probably have never heard of any of them...but don't discredit the event just based on that. If you have an appreciation for different kinds of music you may just be presently surprised :)
By Jessica713 (20), Easy Quogue on May 9, 11 11:45 PM
Sounds like a great time. The cost of the ticket may seem high but the band line-up is wonderful and it is TWO days in the fresh air. It would cost you a hundred to go to the city in the heat of August to see just one band--- train or gas and parking, meals, drinks.
The local charities can really use the money. I volunteer with the Sunflower Children Foundation and donation amounts are way down because of the economy.
By Montaukette (46), Waterland on May 10, 11 4:17 AM
Herein lies the problem. I haven't seen where the Town Board has required a bond for the promised $100,000 dollars. I haven't seen a specific charity or charities mentioned as to who gets what of the promised $100,000.

The promoters stated they were going to appeal to the older generation and there would not be an influx of young people. Wrong on that one, what is the next thing they are wrong on?

As I stated in an earlier post, they promise jobs... for who... the local folks ...more
By tothepoint (5), East Hampton on May 10, 11 5:32 PM
Didn't the organizers say the groups would skew to an older audience? Gotta say I don't know any of the groups. I'll have to ask my 25 year old niece about them. Did the town or organizers choose the charities? No disrespect to the Surfrider Foundation, but I can think of better use of the money.
By harbor (415), East Hampton on May 10, 11 6:40 AM
2 members liked this comment
Wow, what a line-up!!!!! ARE YOU GUYS SERIOUS!?! These bands target young kids who complain about spending more than $30 for tickets. They will be lucky to sell 1,500 tickets a day to this.
By I Do It Live (28), East Hampton on May 10, 11 6:47 AM
2 members liked this comment
Hahahahaha. Half of Brooklyns pot smoking college age hipsters are going to invade the Hamptons. Why would this be called a "Family Event" when the target age for these bands are 15-25?
By YesYesBub (58), East Hampton on May 10, 11 8:02 AM
2 members liked this comment
I'll be there. Light it up!
By littleplains (305), olde england on May 12, 11 12:03 PM
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on May 10, 11 8:19 AM
I'm young enough where i SHOULD know who these bands are and aside from the headliners - I've never heard of any of them. I was into the bright eyes 6 years ago. Who listens to them now?

Unless the organizers are planning to run shuttle busses from Williamsburgh directly to the EH airport, good luck selling tickets out. The people who listen to this music aren't going to drop $200 on a 2 day show.

Bamboozle, Warped Tour and others like it cost way less and have much better ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on May 10, 11 9:16 AM
I have to say its refreshing to have well-known current artists play out here. I'm truly sick of having to schlep out to NYC to see anyone other than Nancy Atlas and The Lone Sharks. I hope this becomes an annual concert.
By aharkawik (1), Southampton on May 10, 11 9:29 AM
Oh man, that was funny.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 16, 11 1:43 PM
It's amazing how many of the people posting here think of themselves as both music critics and marketing experts: no one knows the bands, no one will come b/c of the high price, etc. Why not leave it up to the promoters to figure that out? If you don't know the bands, don't come. No one is forcing you. And, if you think the headliner will only draw a handful of Brooklyn hipsters, read this press release from last year:

Billboard reports that Vampire Weekend's Best New Music album Contra ...more
By Laszlo Lowenstein (37), East Hampton on May 10, 11 10:33 AM
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I am criticizing the ETB for even thinking to allow this in Amagansett or Wainscott in August...I would like to see the whole thing changed to Sept or Oct..That would be much more sensible, in my opinion.
By gansetteer (125), East Hampton on May 10, 11 10:42 AM
1 member liked this comment
I actually am an expert and festival producer. First, they are not promoters...the two from Sag Harbor have no event experience and the guys they hired are: a low level label guy; Bobby Kennedy III; and a guy involved with the Hampton Social series...which lost $18 million! Instead of the Vampire Weekend article, maybe you should read today's article about Live Nation partnering with Groupon because of dropping concert ticket prices.
By I Do It Live (28), East Hampton on May 10, 11 11:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
So why should you care if they mess this up and lose their shirts? That will only serve to make sure this is not a recurring event. And you'll get your chance at schadenfreude.
PS: I agree with you about the financial problems with live events, with many big names cancelling tours, etc. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out.
PPS: the proposed event is literally in my backyard and I'm not happy about it. But they have a right to do it.
By Laszlo Lowenstein (37), East Hampton on May 10, 11 12:26 PM
Actually Mr. "Expert Concert Producer", I met Bobby Kennedy III at a town board meeting and he is quite qualified for this event. Maybe you should do some research before you assume that people are unqualified.
By Mark Rich (4), Montauk on May 10, 11 1:00 PM
Actually, I have known Bobby III and family since he was a little kid, so be very careful what you assume. Bobby is qualified to get his beautiful people friends like Amanda Hearst, Luigi Tadini, etc. to go to the event, but not to navigate the local politics of something like this. Qualified for any of them would not choose a $195 price point for a first year event when ticket prices are dropping and the artists don't command more than $30 - 45 for any of their shows.
By I Do It Live (28), East Hampton on May 11, 11 10:25 AM
This is not that Bobby Kennedy
By Mark Rich (4), Montauk on May 11, 11 12:46 PM
Really...you mean there's more than one Bobby Kennedy of RFK Productions working on MTK that's the son of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Please, do tell as the Earth Day at the National Mall credit of MTK's Bobby Kennedy that had Sting, The Roots, etc. included Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and family.
By I Do It Live (28), East Hampton on May 11, 11 1:37 PM
Yes. I spoke with him at great length as it turned out that we had common friends (specifically Klyph Black of the Talkhouse family) He is no relation to them. This Bobby Kennedy also produced Gathering of the Vibes and Wilco's annual festival.
By Mark Rich (4), Montauk on May 11, 11 2:06 PM
OK, then I would ask him why the heck he would allow tickets to go on sale before the FAA approval and with the Amagansett lawsuit in waiting and a price of $195. it just doesn't make sense to me for someone who knows the ropes.
By I Do It Live (28), East Hampton on May 11, 11 3:49 PM
So you are wrong about the family of this particular Bobby Kennedy How about an apology?. While you do that, recall that the tickets went on sale on the same day that the FAA approved. That's twice you're incorrect. Perhaps you need a little rest, all that experience of festival producing must have worn you out, bless you.
By janehp (10), Sag Harbor on May 13, 11 10:05 PM
If i am wrong about this Kennedy, then i do apologize, but I can't find a single Bob Kennedy from RFK Productions via Google or anywhere else. Bobby Kennedy III, who is RFK III is indeed easily found and attended the Earth Day at the Mall referred in the article about MTK Producer Bob Kennedy...the coincidence is a little much, no? As far as the ticket sales and FAA approval, they did not go on sale the same day as the approval, it was days before. So, not really that off base.
By I Do It Live (28), East Hampton on May 16, 11 4:37 PM
By gansetteer (125), East Hampton on May 10, 11 10:43 AM
Discounted tickets will be sold locally for $175 until May 23. They are available at Sylvester & Co. in Sag Harbor, Indian Wells Tavern in Amagansett, Khanh Sports in East Hampton Village, and 668 Gig Shack in Montauk.
By janehp (10), Sag Harbor on May 10, 11 10:52 AM
1 member liked this comment
My god! It's going to be Armageddon at Yeager's farm all over again! Half-naked women (and men) acting sexually all over the place! Pot being smoked as casually as a cigarette! Two days of rampant hedonism to the savage beat of "rock and roll"!

By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on May 10, 11 11:03 AM
Reading your posts, I think you could use a puff or two... Tune in and Turn on baby!
By littleplains (305), olde england on May 12, 11 12:06 PM
1 member liked this comment
I'm against the festival because if these inexperienced dudes screw it up then say goodbye to any future concerts here. They should have picked a September date to avoid the obvious traffic and hotel room issues and made it a one-day event. They also misled town officials and the public with respect to the nature of the acts. That said, I hope they pull it off.
By harbor (415), East Hampton on May 10, 11 11:59 AM
1 member liked this comment
I think this is a fantastic idea if it all comes together, however I do think the $195 per ticket is steep, especially when you add in the parking fees. There are other festivals, with stellar lineups charging less and giving you so much more. Look at this year's Lollapalooza, $215 for 3 days but there are hundreds of bands performing, many of them extremely well known (Eminem, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, etc). They even had an early bird offer of $60 for a 3-day pass. I know there is a convenience ...more
By madtempest (1), Patchogue on May 10, 11 12:06 PM
2 members liked this comment
I agree that it's way too much money. The Hurricane Fest in Germany is only 125 euros and they have way more bands such as Foo Fighters, Incubus, Arcade Fire, Portishead, Jimmy Eat World, Bright Eyes and sooooo much more.
By klynch1306 (1), Bayport on May 10, 11 1:24 PM
WAY over-priced for a debut festival with, let's face it, not many well known bands. I dig the Tom Tom club, but not at that price. Lollapalooza is a great comparison as you get ten times the performers for almost the same price. This concert is definitely geared towards a high school/college-aged crowd, not sure how they'll do, but would suggest a stronger lineup.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on May 10, 11 1:35 PM
1 member liked this comment
I thought there would be something for everybody . There's not much diversity here . I was lead to believe they were going to try to get Billy Joel and / or Paul Simon and / or McCartney ... whatever ... Vampire Weekend ? Okay , not for me ... The only band I heard of was Tom Tom Club . Marginal at best ... but than again I am not 30 any more . Well , I'm going to avoid Easthampton that weekend .
By AndersEn (174), Southampton on May 10, 11 9:41 PM
I'm coming from Southampton. The line up is pretty impressive. Vampire Weekend is not only one of the hottest pop rock bands in the world, but they are from Connecticut and went to college in NYC. Very Cool. Bright Eyes is one of my 35 year old daughter's favorites. Very low key but very talented. This is the exact type of Music Festival they said they were working for and that is what they are delivering. I wouldn't be surprised if they get a surprise appearance from one of he local rock ...more
By mrmako61 (148), southampton on May 10, 11 10:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
If you're not doing their PR or work for them already, you should. The price point for a first year event is ridiculous...and Bright Eyes average ticket price is $38...The only reason for the $200 price on August 6th is because of the popularity and small size of The Blue Note venue.
By I Do It Live (28), East Hampton on May 11, 11 10:32 AM
Kenny Loggins is playing at Westhampton Beach Perf Arts Center in July and tickets range $125 - $175. I think the MTK Festival, with many more bands that are actually very popular offers a lot more value for money.
By janehp (10), Sag Harbor on May 13, 11 10:14 PM
You are skewing what the word "value" means.

Kenny Loggins is a niche market at a very small theater. Any show at WHBPAC goes for a higher price than at a larger venue because of its location, cache and small/intimate size. It takes WHBPAC much fewer ticket sales to break even on this event than it will for the people running MTK festival.

Consider this, MTK has promised to donate 100,000 to charity. If the average ticket price for Kenny Loggins is $150 and there rae 425 seats ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on May 16, 11 4:23 PM
Message to EH Town Board from the movie The Big Chill, and other historic sources:

"Be careful about what you ask for, or you may surely get it!"

The approval of this festival (during an unpublicized agenda in a work session -- for two alternate locations) without knowing who would be playing, what the price would be including parking, what the local charity donations would be, etc. etc., -- might surely be your worst folly to date.

You can't make this stuff up!

See ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 11, 11 3:36 PM
1 member liked this comment
Just announced at another local site (against the rules here to post accurate URL's) that the FAA has approved the airport location.

BUT certain quotes seem of concern IMO.

"However, "Based on the assertions made by the Town of East Hampton in preparation for and support of the event, the FAA acknowledges that the event can proceed in compliance with the Grant Assurances," Felix wrote in a letter dated on Tuesday."

What are the Grant Assurances?

""Note that this ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 11, 11 4:42 PM
Why do you always feel that the Boards (Town Boards / Trustees) should put up personal bonds for stuff they approve? Honestly, where do you get these ideas?

What legal ruling would require such?!
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on May 11, 11 8:13 PM
Nature, that is what insurance is for, and IMO as our municipalities wake up and realize that they long ago embarked on a journey to bankruptcy, the various creditors will look for deeper pockets if something goes amiss at events such as this concert, or at the proposed mass poisoning of Mill Pond in Water Mill (if I have understood your reference correctly to "Trustees").

The "scope of authority" issue for various actions by various boards may not seem that relevant today, but when the ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 12, 11 2:14 PM
Any chance you can provide some case-law showing instances where board members were held personally liable for fiscal damages in lawsuits against legal decisions made by boards?

nah, didn't think so.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on May 12, 11 2:46 PM
Correct, there is no case law for the future, and please do not put words in my mouth. I was quite clear about this being a "future" issue.

Mark my words. When the municipalities start to go belly up, the Board members will be named as individual defendants. If I were a board member I would seriously consider this future eventuality.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 12, 11 2:58 PM
My point is that there is no legal precedent for a authorized board member to be helf fiscally laible in cases like this. So WHY would they ever take out a bond? They don't need to and they shouldn't be required to.

Everytime the President orders more troops to be sent somewhere, should he take out a personal bond for a billion dollars in case someone sues?

PBR, you spout the ridiculous to incite the ill-informed. Do you disagree? If I see someone on a Southampton Street ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on May 12, 11 3:01 PM
Nature, please define "near."

Is The End not Near for people of our age?

Think about it!
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 13, 11 6:46 PM
Talking to some 15-18 yr olds today..they would love to see much of this concert..Seems as though these groups slated to play are perfect for them and all their friends! Well that would be wonderful..except that they All work weekends and in August when all the college kids start heading back to school, these kids are Not allowed to take a weekend afternoon or evening off from their jobs. And PBR is right on the money, thats where this town board took this event, which could be a blast, and ruined ...more
By gansetteer (125), East Hampton on May 11, 11 4:33 PM
Well, I do recall attending a show at Indian Field years ago to see "The Joel" play there. Seated on hay bales, out in the fresh air, and to boot there was not only Carly Simon, but Foriegner also made a surprise guest appearance.

I hope a couple of the "seasoned folk" in the music industry do make a suprise guest appearance. It just makes for a FAR better time.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 12, 11 3:08 PM
1 member liked this comment
"The Joel"?
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on May 16, 11 2:25 PM
We forget so soon. About 5 years ago the Ross School held comncerts as fund raisers. During the hight of the summer yet. And with the biggest names in the music business. Billy Joel and James Taylor to name two. But there was a big difference. It was on private property, properly permitted, managed by professionals, explained to and understood by the neighbors, spread over a number of weekends to lessen the impact and more. The only thing the community provided was over flow parking at the airport. ...more
By facts man (148), east hampton on May 13, 11 9:55 AM
You forgot / missed a minor detail...that series LOST $18 MILLION DOLLARS and the charity got jack. It was a disaster and MTK has one of the "professionals" who worked on that one working on this one.
By I Do It Live (28), East Hampton on May 13, 11 1:26 PM
I Do It Live (what IS your real name anyway?) If you are so all knowing and professional, why is it that you haven't swooped in to save the day? You'd think with your vast array of knowledge about EVERYTHING, you'd be able to command a pretty nice paycheck saving their asses!
By Mark Rich (4), Montauk on May 13, 11 3:04 PM
A little testy are we Mr. Rich. Not sure how all knowing one has to be when Warner Bros. music, which is PUBLIC, had to write off $18 million. But knowing Nile Rogers, The Strategic Group, and the others who produced the Ross series, yes, I may know a few more facts than others...beyond the fact that I and ALL of my friends were comped. As far as swooping in, I or any other with chops in our business would not be part of this event based on the way it has been handled. If you attended various MTK ...more
By I Do It Live (28), East Hampton on May 13, 11 10:57 PM
Not a hater at all. Frankly, I'd prefer to see this event succeed because then it won't ruin it for future projects. The Ross series put such a bad taste in peoples mouths, it took four years just to get another project on the books. As far as how it's been planned, it's played out in the press since day one...and at $195, the risk of not selling like Ross is high.
By I Do It Live (28), East Hampton on May 14, 11 9:01 AM
$18M! Reminds me of the ZZZ Best Cleaning Company. It came under suspicion after claiming to have cleaned a seven story tall smoke-damaged building in a town wherein no structure was higher than two stories. Turned out it was a dirty money laundry.

May the losses have been exaggerated?
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on May 17, 11 9:25 AM
OK, good point. If Ross School lost $18 Mil. I understand why it wasn't done again. Perhaps a first class concert series can't be profitable in EH. So are we to assume, what appears to be, an amature, quickly arranged, adhoc concert series is going to show a profit? And if it doesn't what will be the real cost to the people of EH? This will be done wholley on public property on public time and there will be a cost. Somebody better talk about profits and losses and financial consequences now. Fact
By facts man (148), east hampton on May 13, 11 4:15 PM
I just heard Vampire Weekend and thought I was listening to Oingo Boingo ... I'm definately NOT going .
By AndersEn (174), Southampton on May 13, 11 11:11 PM
Ross School lost that much. Too bad Stella Maris couldn't get some $$$ together, huh?

Welp, I'm almost 50 and I've heard of (and like) a lot of these artists. You just have to pay attention.

And of COURSE it's over-priced. It's the Hamptons.
By Undertow (64), Southampton on May 19, 11 7:31 AM
Actually, Time Warner/Edgar Bronfman lost the money by way of its purchase of Bulldog Entertainment from Joe Meli. That shareholders meeting was not pleasant.
By I Do It Live (28), East Hampton on May 19, 11 12:48 PM