Rock Festival May Move to Airport

Promoters seeking permission for alternative site

    A proposal to move a two-day August music festival from a field in Amagansett to an area at the East Hampton Airport, devised as an alternative in the face of community opposition to the event at the Amagansett site, will require the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration as well as that of the East Hampton Town Board.
    Chris Jones, an organizer of the Music to Know, or MTK, concert, submitted a permit application for a mass gathering at the airport on Aug. 13 and 14 to the East Hampton Town fire marshal’s office on Feb 7. The festival is to include concerts on two stages by 18 performers as well as food,  beverages, and merchandise vendors.
    In late December, the board issued a mass-gathering permit authorizing the event to be held on land on the north side of Montauk Highway in Amagansett, but since then community members have expressed concerns about traffic, safety, and other issues surrounding the festival, for which 9,500 tickets would be sold. A coalition of opponents has hired Jeffrey Bragman, an East Hampton attorney, and has threatened a legal fight.
    Jim Brundige, the East Hampton Airport manager, said that he had met with the event organizers earlier this week to review plans for parking and use of the proposed site, a “dead zone” south of the unused runway 4-22, adjacent to Industrial Road.
    He said that they were aware of the need to obtain approval from the F.A.A., which has jurisdiction over activities within the airport footprint, and that they would hire a consultant to pursue that permit.
    Mr. Brundige said the F.A.A. would not consider closing the airport, which sees an average of 700 to 800 “operations” — takeoffs and landings — over two typical August days.
    While the proposed location for the show will not interfere with use of the rest of the airport, Mr. Brundige said, pilots taking off from or landing on the airport’s other runways might react to having a large outdoor event there.
    The commercial mass-gathering permit application is being routed for comment to various town offices, such as that of the fire marshal, police chief, and other department heads, as is the normal procedure, and has not yet been discussed by the town board.    J.P.