Music, Fashion Fest Less Than Welcome

People gathered around a fire in the courtyard at Solé East during a fund-raiser there in June. The resort has announced plans for a three-day music, yoga, and fashion festival next month. Janis Hewitt

    A planned, three-day festival with live music, featuring Albert Hammond Jr. of the Strokes doing a D.J. set and others, to be held from Aug. 3 to 5 at the Solé East hotel in Montauk, has not received the necessary approval from the Town of East Hampton and one of Solé East’s partners has distanced himself from the plan.
    The Escape to Montauk event, at the hotel and restaurant on Second House Road, follows one its organizers held last year on the Shinnecock Reservation, featuring Patti Smith and other well-known artists. The Montauk version is to run from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day.
    A press release said there will be art, food, a fashion “pop-up village,” installations and performance art, films, yoga, a spa, and experimental programming in addition to music.
    Johnson Nordlinger, the assistant to East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson, said yesterday that no permits had been granted for the event or applied for.
    The Escape events were founded and produced by Rocco Gardner, who said in a release that the Montauk event will be different from Escape 2 New York. It will be smaller and more suited to the local area, he said.
    “We work hard at Escape whether it’s with a tribe or beachside community to tailor our event to fit in with each of our hosts in an appropriate manner,” he wrote in an e-mail.
    Admission is to be free, although V.I.P. wristbands will be sold for $20 online at Those with wristbands will have priority access and receive discounts on kids events, retail sales, and food and drink.
    Immediately after the release was issued this week announcing the Escape event, Chris Jones, who is a partner in Solé East and an owner of the recently opened Montauk Beach House hotel in Montauk, issued his own press release stating he had nothing to do with it.
    He said that although he is a partner in the business, he had relinquished his operational role there in March to focus on the Beach House.
    “I have absolutely nothing to do with this event nor do I advocate it. I am unsure what the decision-makers were thinking, but it is clear to me that it has not been thought through,” he said.
    Mr. Jones was an organizer of the ill-fated three-day Music to Know concerts initially planned for a field in Amagansett last summer. After controversy erupted over the location, it was to be moved to East Hampton Airport. But the show never went on, squelched because of low ticket sales.
    Mr. Jones said this week that he has deep respect for the Montauk community and the need to conserve its quality of life.
    “I also have extensive experience in understanding what it takes to stage such an event. Such a gathering should not be held in a residential area and especially not in Montauk,” he said in his release.
    Dave Ceva, the managing owner of Solé East, did not return a call for comment.


my biggest fear is all those people doing yoga.... I mean come on!! reading into this it looks like Chris Jones has a bee in his bonnet. from what I've heard this event is going to be small with limited numbers.