Just a week after a permit flap sent the organizers of Field Day
scrambling to find a new venue at the last minute, the producers of the anticipated
Bonnaroo Festival NE have pulled the plug on their star-studded show.
The festival was slated to take place at Enterprise Park — the same plot of land in Riverhead, New York, as Field Day — on August 8-10 and feature sets from the Dead, Dave Matthews, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the String Cheese Incident, Ween, moe., Yo La Tengo, Talib Kweli and Kings of Leon.
“We assessed the situation, and based on what we saw Field Day go through
and seeing so much uncertainty in terms of being able to avoid the same
problems, we felt like it was in everybody’s best interest to end it now,” said one
of the festival’s promoters, Ashley Capps of AC Entertainment.
More than 25,000 tickets had been sold so far for the concert, which was
ultimately scrubbed because Capps said organizers felt that after several
conversations with local officials they could not be guaranteed of getting the permits
they needed. The two-day Field Day was scrapped and moved just days before it
was scheduled to take place because organizers could not obtain the necessary
permits from local officials (see “Field Day Saved — But Not Without Casualties” ).
Capps said Bonnaroo NE was the latest in a string of festivals that have
attempted, and failed, to host events at the grassy New York location.
The jam-heavy Bonnaroo NE was to be a counterpart to last year’s successful inaugural Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee, which brought together Phish’s Trey Anastasio, String Cheese Incident, Ween, Norah Jones, Jack Johnson, Jurassic 5 and Galactic.
Because of the extensive planning involved with rescheduling such a massive
event — as evidenced by the hastily patched-together Field Day which took place
in New Jersey over the weekend (see “Radiohead Wail, Beasties Flail, Beck Bails At Field Day” ) — organizers said they cannot reschedule
Bonnaroo NE for a different location this year. All ticket holders will be issued
a full refund within the next few weeks. Capps said the festival’s promoters
have not decided whether they will try to relaunch the event next year.
The sold-out Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, is still
scheduled to take place June 13-15 and will feature sets from the Dead, Neil Young &
Crazy Horse, Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Flaming Lips, the Roots, Sonic Youth, Liz
Phair, O.A.R., Polyphonic Spree, My Morning Jacket, Widespread Panic, the
Allman Brothers Band and James Brown.