A second Latin Music Festival proposed for June 12 at the 4-H Camp in Baiting Hollow was rejected by the town board last night.
The board voted unanimously, 4-0 with Supervisor Yvette Aguiar absent, to deny a special event permit for the festival, with board members citing excess attendance and traffic impacts at the organizer’s event on Sunday. The town police stepped in to shut down Sunday’s event after vehicles unable to get into the site caused a major traffic jam on Sound Avenue. Police also closed Sound Avenue for more than two hours in the middle of the afternoon.
“I think this group needs to go back to the drawing board take a little bit more time to get their online ticket sales in order, etc. etc.,” Councilman Bob Kern said.
Councilman Tim Hubbard went further. “This organization can take their interests to other towns. I don’t want them in our town anymore and I absolutely vote no,” Hubbard said.
Sunday’s event “well exceeded” its maximum allowed attendance of 1,000 people, Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller said in an interview Monday. There are three categories of events: small (100-1,000 people), large(1,001-4,000 people) and massive (more than 4,000 people.) The application fees and other requirements differ for each. The producer of the music festival events applied for permits for small gatherings of up to 1,000 people.
The events are the productions of Mexican Folkloric Dance Society of New York, based in Yonkers. But Dean Del Prete of Westhampton Beach, who operated the now-shuttered Long Island Sportspark, and is a member of a Business Advisory Committee group that has worked on revising the town’s special events code, was the “local contact” for the producer — something required by the town code. He also signed an indemnification affidavit for the applicant and, he said in an interview, handled the parking.
Del Prete said the Mexican Folkloric Dance Society of New York produced a few musical festivals at the Long Island Sportspark without incident.
Alex Garcia, director of the organization, said in a phone interview Monday he had sold only 800 tickets online, but the event had a large number of people show up at the gate who had not purchased tickets in advance.
The June 12 music festival has already been advertised by online ticket agents, though the organizer did not have a permit for the event.
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