Field Day, Round Two?

by Dylan on July 15, 2004

For those amongst you that are true gluttons for punishment, it appears that promoter Andrew Dreskin is attempting to get another Field Day going.
According to the Poughkeepsie Journal, Dreskin has applied to host another Field Day, this time in the tiny town of Red Hook (upstate, not the Brooklyn version). The proposed festival will feature three days of camping and two of music, featuring artists such as “Radiohead, the Beastie Boys, and Spearhead” (?). Other bands that have been mentioned are Norah Jones, R.E.M., Coldplay, and Tom Waits.
I wanted to run two quotes by you, before we continue… This one’s from Norman Greig, who explains why this Field Day will be different than the other concert the town just denied permits to:

Greig said the Field Day event will be different because of Dreskin’s experience as a promoter and the fact he put on a successful ”Field Day” show last year at Giants Stadium. In the past, Greig has said events like the proposed music festival were one of the key ways for him to bring in income and preserve his farm space.

And this one, from Dreskin:

“Field Day was widely seen as the most innovative modern rock music festival in the United States in 2003,” Dreskin said.

As you may recall, last year, Field Day was to be a two-day festival that was to take place in a giant field on Long Island. Radiohead was to headline one day, The Beastie Boys the other. The rest of the lineup was fairly amazing as well. It was to be lovely. Then, it turned out that the sleepy little town of Calverton didn’t really want 40,000 people flying around after all, so they denied the permits. Unfortunately, they did this about a week before the show.
After a bit of panic, it was announced that the concert was moving to Giants Stadium (!) in Jersey, and that half the bands would drop out. Oh, and (almost) all tickets were void, you had to buy new ones. TicketMaster refunded the ticket price, but not the surcharge. Fans then had to pay another surcharge, plus a massive ticket rush delivery fee, because TM didn’t want 30,000 people standing at will call.
The only people who didn’t get hosed were those of us who purchased our tickets from the w.a.s.t.e. presale, as the w.a.s.t.e gang was kind enough to swap ’em out for us at no charge, set up their own will-call, and get us prime floor seats.
Naturally, it was cold, wet, and poured rain all day. The stage was left over from the Hot 97 Summer Jam, and the sound was mostly not very nice. The stadium was 80% empty for most of the day, and only 40% full at the peak. Liz Phair played the worst set in the history of festivals, Beck ended up getting hit by a piece of equipment and didn’t play at all, the Beasties took wayyyy too long to set up, and the evening was redeemed solely by our boys in Radiohead, who played the most amazing set I’ve ever heard. Thom’s wail in ‘2+2=5’ was the turning point in the evening for everyone I’ve spoken to.
In the end, Thom’s quote said it all- “We’re very sorry it’s come to this”.
Of course, one last jab came from event security, who did not allow Radiohead to play their standard multiple encores (or, rumour has it, bring Beck out onstage for a little acoustic action) because they didn’t want to pay overtime.
The moral is, everyone I know (myself included) had a great time all in all. However, everyone I know (and people I didn’t) walked out saying “NEVER AGAIN.”
That said, the majority of what happened was not the promoter’s fault, so take my harshness with a grain of salt.. Pneumonia does that. Besides, last year being a debacle or not, if he can get Radiohead, Tom Waits, R.E.M., and some other comparable bands back, you can bet I’ll be there, in line, ready to go. With tickets from w.a.s.t.e..



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