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trouble for bonaroo NE

mikey d

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this isnt good:


For the political leaders of Riverhead, a municipality stuck with an unfortunate image as The Little Town That Couldn't, it was impossible to resist the opportunity to host two giant rock festivals in June and August. So they didn't resist. Now all Long Island should hope that these outdoor music events turn out to be a cultural and economic development dream come true, and not merely a traffic nightmare, or worse, a disappearing mirage.

There's little question about the appeal of the acts. Field Day Music Festival, with music on June 7 and 8, features favorites such as Radiohead and the Beastie Boys. Bonnaroo NE 2003, with performances Aug. 8 to 10, will include The Dead, Bob Dylan and many others. Together, they could draw over 100,000.

The good news is that the crowds may increase the town's visibility and perhaps direct attention to its property at the former Grumman facility at Calverton, the site of the festivals. The town has sold the nearly 500-acre core, which leaves 2,400 acres to be sold. If the festivals provide exposure that later leads to advantageous sales of the remaining acreage, that alone would make them worthwhile.

The bad news is that large crowds of fans, on top of normally heavy traffic, could create monumental gridlock. Both promoters have hired experienced consultants to ease the crush. Also, both festivals will allow campers to start arriving the day before the music starts, which should spread out the flow of cars. Still, the traffic is likely to be difficult at best.

The greatest problem is this: With the first concert less than two weeks away, the town has yet to receive the necessary permit from Suffolk County. That won't happen without an intermunicipal agreement, allowing Suffolk police to supplement the town's tiny force. The promoters will pay the bill for this policing, but they can't cut the check until the two governments reach agreement. That requires action by the town board and the county legislature, but the legislature is not scheduled to meet again until after the June event. Riverhead signed the contract for the June event on Feb. 20. So it should have moved the permit process much farther along by now.

Meanwhile, both promoters have been selling tickets for the events. The county won't rule out the possibility that the two governments won't be able to complete all the details in time for the June permit to be issued. If that happens, thousands of angry ticket-holders won't remember the word Riverhead fondly.

The town already has a reputation for inability to get its act together, and this hasn't helped its image. It didn't adequately anticipate the bureaucratic hurdles and coordinate with other agencies quickly enough. Nor did it pay sufficient attention to environmental concerns, such as potential damage to migratory birds. So now it faces a new hurdle: a lawsuit by the Long Island Pine Barrens Society.

Some officials would like to see the concerts go away, but that's too harsh. If they can be put together right, they might very well provide a long-term cultural and economic benefit to the region. But first, Riverhead must work hard, and quickly, to get the permit that it needs. Let it become The Little Town That Could

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Guest Low Roller

I got tickets for the Field Day Music Festival thing (mainly to see Radiohead and Thievery Corporation). I've heard this story before, but it was something to do with an endangered species of bird that was nesting in the area which was delaying the permits.

Not good news...

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an update:

Suffolk Denies Permit for Field Day

By Katie Thomas

Newsweek Staff Writer

May 27, 2003, 3:12 PM EDT

In a blow to Beastie Boys and Beck fans, Suffolk County has denied a mass gathering permit for a two-day rock concert in Calverton, meaning for now the event can’t go ahead.

County health officials denied the permit today after Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller said his force wouldn’t be able to handle the expected crowd of 50,000. On Friday, county officials informed the town they wouldn’t be able to help with extra police officers because doing so would require an agreement between the Riverhead town board and the Suffolk county legislature. This wouldn’t have been possible, since the legislature doesn’t meet until after the June 7 and 8 concert.

The Field Day Festival was to have been a showcase for the 2,900-acre former Grumman site, which the town has been hoping to sell in an effort to spur economic development. Town officials and the concert promoters weren’t immediately available for comment.

In addition, the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, an environmental group, sued Riverhead town today, charging the town didn’t do a proper environmental review before agreeing to host the concert. Environmentalists had worried that the concert coincides with the nesting season for the rare grasshopper sparrow, which lays its eggs in the fields where the concert was to have taken place.

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Bunch of jerk offs!!! Why would anyone plan a festival of this magnitude without doing the needed ground work.

"...uh yeah, let's have a three day rock concert in that Grizley Santcuary up in Northern BC, it'll bring in lots o' need tourism in the area...I'll start bookin' the acts and we'll worry about askin' permission later...."

F*#kin' jerk offs!!!

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