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Jul 13, 2012 5:27 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

New 'Escape' Comes To Montauk

Jul 17, 2012 6:19 PM

The “Escape” brand coined for the Escape to New York, or E2NY, music and entertainment festival last summer in Southampton is returning to the East End, this time to Montauk, though not in quite the form of last year’s three-day parade of esoterica, frivolity, luxury and music.

This year’s incarnation, Escape to Montauk, to be held at Sole East hotel and restaurant August 3 to 5, is being organized by one of the former partners of the group that dreamed up and produced the E2NY event last year. Once again, there will be three days of music—albeit without the smattering of major-label names like Patti Smith and the Psychedelic Furs or the “glamping” of E2NY—and a variety of side-show entertainment offerings. This time, however, the event will be free, part of Sole East’s regular schedule of music and social events, though there will be VIP offerings available for a fee. Food and drink will be provided by Sole East’s bar and restaurant, known as the Backyard.

The “boutique celebration,” as a press release billed it, will be a largely daytime affair on the weekend, kicking off at 10 a.m. and winding down about 9 p.m. Along with up-and-coming musical acts like Albert Hammond Jr., DJ Set, Michaelangelo and Saul Kurtz, the event promoters say there will be an eclectic collection of art, food, fashion, music, yoga and film.

The event’s producer, Rocco Gardner, and Sole East co-owner Dave Ceva, the contact for the event, could not be reached for comment this week. Public relations representatives said they did not have information on how many people they expect to draw to the event, but they did note that attendance is expected to be limited.

Neither Sole East nor the event organizers have 
requested any special permits from East Hampton Town for the event.

One of Sole East’s owners, Chris Jones, was a driving force behind another three-day music festival planned in East Hampton last summer, the weekend before the E2NY event. The festival, dubbed Music To Know, or MTK, the common shorthand for Montauk, was controversial from the get-go when a 3-2 majority of the East Hampton Town Board pushed through the approval of permits for the event at an Amagansett farm after just two brief public discussions a week apart. Following public outcry, the event was relocated to the East Hampton Airport before being cancelled by the producers less than a week before it was scheduled to start due to low ticket sales. E2NY organizer then offered free admission to their festival to MTK ticket holders.

A spokesperson said that Mr. Jones is not involved in the Escape to Montauk event in any way.

Mr. Jones is also one of the new owners of the former Ronjo Motel, now known as the Montauk Beach House, which was also in the news this past spring after East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson reached an agreement with the new motel owners to sell them a neighboring alleyway without consulting the full Town Board.

Mr. Gardner was one of the partners of the group that put together the E2NY festival in 2011. His partner in the event was Freddy Fellowes, who created the Secret Garden Party, a festival in England that has become a Mecca of music and alternative expression, and was the creative mind behind E2NY’s quirky offerings: like a “think camp,” a giant organized pillow fight, a ball room and hidden dancing areas in the surrounding woods, along with a luxury camping arrangement they dubbed “glamping.” The E2NY event was planned and produced by Dave Lory, a producer of Grammy ceremonies, Central Park concerts and the South by Southwest festival in Texas.

Reached by phone this week Mr. Lory said that he and Mr. Fellowes are not associated with the Escape brand in any way and are not involved in the Escape to Montauk event. He said that Mr. Fellowes had agreed to a one-year no-compete agreement when he pulled out of the Escape group but is planning to return to the Hamptons in the summer of 2013 with another festival modeled after the Secret Garden Party and E2NY.

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"Neither Sole East nor the event organizers have 
requested any special permits from East Hampton Town for the event." If a Town Board Commercial Mass Gathering Permit is not issued, this event should not happen at all. David Buda
By davbud (116), east hampton on Jul 20, 12 10:36 AM
1 member liked this comment
Just what this town needs....NOT
By lhasabon (8), Wading River on Jul 29, 12 7:19 AM