Mother of All Music Festivals Touches Down

A South Fork favorite, the band Suddyn will perform at the Music to Know Festival on Saturday. Helen Olds Photography

The MTK: Music to Know Festival is readying for takeoff, with plans to transform Runway 4 at the East Hampton Airport next weekend into an arena filled not only with musical performances onstage but also opportunities to dine on a wide variety of cuisine and to shop at a pop-up “retail village” featuring a host of boutiques and fashion designers.
    The Aug. 13 and 14 music and lifestyle festival is the inaugural event for Music to Know, founded by Chris Jones, the owner of the Solé East hotel in Montauk, and Bill Collage, a Sag Harbor-based Hollywood screenwriter.
    “From day one, the vision of the MTK Festival was to combine the coolest artists in music with the hottest brands in fashion, lifestyle, and food in a boutique setting in the Hamptons in the height of the season. . . .” Mr. Jones said in a release. “It’s gone away from people going out, listening to music and drinking lots of beer in a field, to being a day out for a family where there’s what I call ‘see, hear, smell, touch, taste’ — there’s something for all your senses, being the music, the fashion, the food.”
    While the musical lineup of 19 bands includes Vampire Weekend and Bright Eyes as the Saturday and Sunday night headliners, along with Ellie Goulding, Ra Ra Riot, Matt and Kim, and Nicos Gun, for a sampling, the fashionistas on hand will be showcasing new styles, an array of trendy food trucks will offer eclectic dining experiences, and batches of artisanal beers and wines will be offered to wash it all down.
    Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen — the Olsen twins of, initially, TV fame — will show pieces from Elizabeth & James, their contemporary clothing line — tees, tanks, and bags available only at the show — and debut a new Web site called StyleMint, where customized technology will assist online shoppers to make selections that match a personalized style profile and provide them with style tips.
    Two British merchandisers will present United Kingdom style. Jack Wills is a preppy British company that will sell classic summer clothes, and Topshop will have up-to-the-minute styles.
    Foodies from Manhattan might recognize the bright yellow Desi Food Truck, painted with multicolored Indian motifs and serving inexpensive curry, dal, rice, biryani, and masala dishes, or the Korilla Korean barbecue truck, which combines the takeout taco craze with Korean flavors.
    Along with barbecue beef, pork, chicken, and organic homemade tofu, served in tacos, burritos, and rice bowls filled with “wild mountain veggies” such as mung beans, soybean sprouts, crown daisy, bracken fern, and shiitake mushrooms, Korilla offers fixings like kimchi slaw, cucumber kimchi, and Korean hot sauce. The Korilla trucks’ stops along city streets for lunch and dinner service have attracted attention from The Village Voice, Time Out NY, and The New York Times.

    Some stores and restaurateurs from right here on the South Fork will have a presence at the festival as well. DuMonde, an East Hampton boutique, will sell handwoven traditional Egyptian dresses, Gloria Jewel, a boutique with shops in Westhampton Beach, Bridgehampton, and Amagansett, will sell unique pieces from classic designers, and Khanh’s Sports of East Hampton will have a pop-up shop stocked with sunglasses, beachwear, and summertime toys.
    Tory Burch, a designer with a presence in East Hampton, will also have a runway shop.
    A homegrown “contemporary general store,” Sylvester & Co., which has shops in Sag Harbor and Amagansett as well as Savannah, Ga., will have its Dream Machine coffee truck at the concert, a vintage silver trailer that proclaims, in lavender letters on its side, “Iced Dreams Sold Here.” Two Montauk mobile vendors, Montaco and Turf Lobster Roll, will also be there.
    The Grey Horse Tavern, a restaurant in a building dating to 1868 in Bayport, on Long Island’s South Shore, began its Rolling Kitchen — called by its owners “a farm to table catering company on wheels” — last year when the food truck craze heated up, and it will head to East Hampton for the festival weekend.
    For dessert, the VanLeeuwen artisan ice cream truck will be on hand, selling ice cream, pastries, and coffee.
    Outside food and drink will not be permitted on the grounds. There will be beer and wine stations available to all, though other spirits will be offered only in the festival’s V.I.P. section, in two tents where there will be premium drink and food service as well as viewing areas for special fashion shows and musical performances throughout the weekend.
    Also selling clothing at the festival will be Anatomie, featuring their best-selling cargo pants, Duck & Weave, an “eco-conscious” line, and Madewell, a J. Crew subsidiary. Lion’esque Style is curating a shop at MTK full of items from emerging designers such as Cecelia clutches, KT Collection jewelry, Sabina Les scarf and pillow collections, and West Coast styles from Johnnie-O.
    The festival gates will open at 10 a.m. each day. The bands will start at 11 a.m. and continue until 10 p.m.
    Ellie Goulding, a recent addition to the musical lineup whose work has been described as “sparkling electro-folk-pop,” is the singer who was chosen to perform at the royal wedding this spring of England’s Prince William and Kate Middleton — her version of Elton John’s “Your Song,” which hit number two on the British charts.
    Tom Tom Club is the band playing MTK that is most likely to be known by those of a certain age. “These legends are bringing some heritage-hipness to the MTK stage,” the festival Web site says. Founded by members of Talking Heads in 1981, the band had dance-hall hits in the early 1980s.
    Perhaps most exciting for local music supporters will be the appearance at midday on Saturday by Suddyn, a band formed by two Montauk brothers, Alan and Jarrett Steil. After heading to Dublin, where several of their singles hit the top-20 charts, they are now based in Los Angeles, where their most recent release, “Before the City,” was produced by David Kahne, a Grammy Award-winner.
    “I feel honored and appreciate the opportunity” to be taking the stage at MTK, Alan Steil said Monday. “The bands that are on the lineup are great indie bands, so it’s awesome to be included,” he said. “East Hampton is obviously a really artistic place, but I feel like it always kind of lacked on the music side. The East End has not seen anything like this,” he said of the festival. “This is really current music.”
    “The Hamptons are a unique market, to say the least — full of decision makers, trend setters, and taste generators who have always been eager to embrace the best and the brightest in our culture — whether that is in literature, film, fashion, or music,” Mr. Jones of MTK said in a release. “We are excited to bring this collection of artists together in our community, and hope this is the first of many annual events.”
    Complete information about the festival, including ticket purchases, which cannot be made at the gate, is on the event’s Web site at For those without an overnight place to stay in East Hampton but who want to attend, the concert organizers have announced that the Long Island Rail Road will run a special 11 p.m. westbound train from the East Hampton station on Aug. 13 and 14.