I don’t know if you noticed, but the Hamptons has been filled with music festivals this summer. It’s quite unusual. I’m not talking about just one-night concerts. Certainly we have plenty of those. I’m talking about whole long weekends of bands, with thousands of people attending and as many as 30 bands performing one after the other.
At the beginning of the summer, May 12-15, we had 30 bands in Montauk performing at all different restaurants in that town on that weekend. The bands included 49 and Counting, One Love and Inda Eaton and it was a whole lot of fun for everybody. It was called The 2nd Annual Montauk Music Festival. Other bands that played included Ashleen Jones, Alfredo Merat, Ashleen, Bastards of Boom, Heaven & Earth, In Fiction, Days of Wild, the Dylan Emmett Band, Lombardi, The Folkadelics, Swamp Cabbage, the Isra Alien Band, Jewlee, Suddyn, the Lone Rider, Love in Stockholm, Mellish, Skumby, Mama Lee Rose and Friends, Method2Madness, Meghan Trainor, Perfect Stampede, Split Tongue Crow, the Green Children, the Magic Touch, Urban Sun, Vanessa Leonardo, Walking Upright, Who are Those Guys?, Zarni, the Motowrays, Third Estate and Paradigm.
On July 30 and 31, the NoFo Rock and Folk Festival will be held at Peconic Bay Winery in Cutchogue, with 16 bands attending. They include Foghat, Elvin Bishop, John Sebastian, Commander Cody, Corky Laing & The Memory Thieves, John Eddie, Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes & The Ryans Brothers of The Bogmen, Gene Casey & The Lonesharks, Nancy Atlas, TAOST, Jon DiVello Band, Miles To Dayton, Sunrise Skyline, Lance Lopez, Brady Rymer & The Little Band That Could!
On the weekend of August 5-7, a big festival featuring 19 bands will settle in at the powwow grounds of the Shinnecock Indian Reservation for an event called Escape to New York. Among those bands in attendance will be The Static Jacks, White Rabbits, Tiger Love, Au Revoir and Chairlift. Also Patti Smith, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Best Coast, Of Montreal, the Psychedelic Furs (yes, those Psychedelic Furs), Graffiti 6, the Jolly Boys, the Mates of State, Reptar, Tiger Love and Savoir Adore.
Then on August 13 and 14, a concert given by 19 big rock bands will take place at the East Hampton Airport. The festival is called MTK: Music to Know. It will also go on all weekend, and besides parking at the venue, you can park your car on Saturdays and Sundays at the East Hampton High School and take a special shuttle bus out to the airport grounds. Among the bands attending will be We Are Scientists, Ellie Goulding, Vampire Weekend, Bright Eyes, Matt & Kim, Cold War Kids, Chromeo, Tame Impala, M. Ward, Ra Ra Riot, Fitz & the Tantrums, Tom Tom Club, Dawes, The Limousines, Nicos Gun, Young Empires, The Naked And Famous, SUDDYN and Francis And The Lights.
This is a lot of bands. And this is a lot of music festivals.
Now we have learned that a New York City promoter named Harrison Starr is going to hold what he calls the “Hampton Reunion Weekend Music Festival,” (HRWMF) featuring all the performers of all the Festivals, back for a reprise, one big five-day bash over the long Labor Day Weekend. Altogether over five days there will be a total of 143 groups performing, three at a time, from three different bandstands facing in on one another at the busiest intersection in the Hamptons, which is the traffic triangle where Hampton Road and County Road 39 in Southampton meet up.
All the permits have been got. All the arrangements have been made to shut down Route 27 for the five days. Traffic will be diverted by officers from the Hamptons Police Force either down Flying Point Road, up to David White’s Lane, or further east to the turnoff at Big Fresh Pond Road or even further east where Old Mill Road turns off from Montauk Highway and goes past the Water Mill Museum to Little Fresh Pond Road. Hampton Town Recreation Supervisor Joe Black together with Highway Superintendent Edward Smarts say that it has all been worked out.
The configuration of the festival will be as follows. The general public—an estimated 123,000 will attend (which is the maximum)—will stand or sit on hay bales on the triangular half acre center island at that corner, with overflow onto the turning lanes and main road itself. The three bandstands will be placed on the outside corners of that intersection, with “green rooms” and rehearsal spaces and TV equipment in great trailers just behind all the stores at the intersection. And beyond that, a snow fence will surround the whole area so crashers cannot get in but will be forced to enter only at the “pay” table, where they will be given wristbands and personalized hay bales with their name on them to sit upon. Every hay bale will be hollowed out and have, inside of it, a goody bag, blue for the men, pink for the girls, with a thank you note for coming.
A lot of local people objected to having this reunion concert, particularly at the location proposed and the Labor Day Weekend traffic and all. As a sop for these poor sports, though, promoter Starr has agreed to invite all the marching bands and bagpipe groups that played in the Fourth of July parade on Main Street in Southampton on July 1. There were nine bands in all. In addition, Starr is inviting all the performers who played every weekend in the summer at the Perlman Music Camp’s main tent on Shelter Island. There are 37 performers there studying every summer. All 37 have been invited and all 37 have accepted.
Here’s who’s performing at the Hamptons Reunion Weekend Music Festival at the Hampton Road Triangle Intersection on Labor Day Weekend, September 2-5. I’m told that before the bands begin playing three at a time from the three stages, they will play, on the first day, all together all at the same time, with whatever music they choose. It will be a “Happening.” After that will come the three at a time and they will continue with that for the next four days, 24 hours a day.
The bands will include the Saffron United Pipe Band of Babylon, SUDDYN, Mates of State, Graffiti 6, the Jolly Boys, Reptar, Tiger Love, We Are Scientists, Ellie Goulding, Vampire Weekend, Bright Eyes, the Southampton High School Marching Band, Matt & Kim, Cold War Kids, Chromeo, Tame Impala, M. Ward, Ra Ra Riot, Fitz & the Tantrums, Tom Tom Club, Dawes, The Limousines, Nicos Gun, The Riverhead Blue Waves Marching Band, Young Empires, Hahn-Bin, The Naked And Famous, Francis And The Lights, Foghat, The Pierson Pep Band, Elvin Bishop, John Sebastian, Commander Cody Corky Laing & The Memory Thieves, Ashleen Jones, Alfredo Merat, Bastards of Boom, Heaven & Earth, In Fiction, Days of Wild, the Dylan Emmett Band, Lombardi, The Folkadelics, Swamp Cabbage, the Isra Alien Band, Jewlee, the Lone Rider, Love in Stockholm, Mellish, Skumby, Mama Lee Rose and Friends, Method2Madness, Meghan Trainor, Perfect Stampede, Split Tongue Crow, the Green Children, the Magic Touch, Urban Sun, Vanessa Leonardo, Walking Upright, Who are Those Guys?, Zarni, the Motowrays, Third Estate, Paradigm, Will Hagen, Stephen Waarts, John Eddie, Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes & The Ryans Brothers of The Bogmen, Gene Casey & The Lonesharks, Bonacker Boom, Nancy Atlas, TAOST, The Hampton Bays High School Marching Band, Jon DiVello Band, Suzie on the Rocks, Edna’s Kin, Miles To Dayton, Sunrise Skyline, Claes Kleppers, Lance Lopez, Brady Rymer & The Little Band That Could! and 34 other not-yet-come-of-age musicians from the Perlman Music Camp.
Tickets will go on sale this Friday at the traffic triangle beginning at 2 a.m. Be there or be square.
And if you have a spare bedroom or two or three in your house and perhaps an available basement you are not using that weekend, call Mr. Starr at 631-555-3827.