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Organisers fight to save US Field Day

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Photographer:Andrew Future

United States United States | 29 May 2003

On Tuesday (May 27), county health officials denied the festival organisers the permit after it was determined that the Riverhead Police Department is too small to safely patrol the event. However, the local police chief has conceded that if festival promotor Andrew Dreskin can find a way to hire 60-70 more police officers, the permit will likely be granted.

Dreskin has offered to pay for extra security required out of his own pocket, and has defianbtly stated that if the event does not go ahead at Calverton Enterprise Park, they will sue Suffolk County.

He said, "I guess this is what happens when you're a young, independent company trying to play ball in a staid, established industry. I don't think our competitors are that happy about it, and it's an election year and there are forces that are beyond our control. We have a fleet of attorneys chomping at the bit to sue these guys. We just hope it doesn't come to that."

As it stands, the Riverhead police department, which handles Calverton law enforcement, does not feel that its force alone can effectively manage the anticipated crowd of 50,000. An appeal for additional officers to Suffolk County has been refused because the earliest the county's legislature can hold the necessary approval process would not be until after the concert.

Riverhead officials and event promoters are now looking for the necessary law enforcement outside of the county.  The deadline for the permit to be accepted is believed to be 48 hours prior to the event.

The festival has also come under attack by environmentalists. The Long Island Pine Barrens Society, an environmental advocacy group, is suing the town of Riverhead because it feels Field Day will threaten the nesting period of a species of sparrow. Joey MacLellan, executive assistant to Kozakiewicz, said that while the town is currently addressing the situation, the lawsuit has no bearing on whether or not Field Day will roll out.

The idea behind the Field Day Festival was to create a European-style festival in the US East Coast. The Coachella Festival has established itself successfully as a similar concept in California. Click here to read our review of Coachella 2003.


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