Here’s the latest from Newsday.
In a blow to Beastie Boys and Beck fans, Suffolk County has denied a mass gathering permit for a two-day rock concert in Calverton, meaning for now the event can’t go ahead.
County health officials denied the permit today after Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller said his force wouldn’t be able to handle the expected crowd of 50,000. On Friday, county officials informed the town they wouldn’t be able to help with extra police officers because doing so would require an agreement between the Riverhead town board and the Suffolk county legislature. This wouldn’t have been possible, since the legislature doesn’t meet until after the June 7 and 8 concert.
The Field Day Festival was to have been a showcase for the 2,900-acre former Grumman site, which the town has been hoping to sell in an effort to spur economic development. Town officials and the concert promoters weren’t immediately available for comment.
In addition, the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, an environmental group, sued Riverhead town today, charging the town didn’t do a proper environmental review before agreeing to host the concert. Environmentalists had worried that the concert coincides with the nesting season for the rare grasshopper sparrow, which lays its eggs in the fields where the concert was to have taken place.
The Field Day staff responded with this:
Field Day is still on. With out going into detail, the city will have much more serious problems not accommodating Field Day than it will accommodating Field Day. Rest assured everything possible is being done to ensure Field Day goes on exactly as planned.
(thanks to Max)