Field Day Scores Settlement

A years-long court battle over a 2003 outdoor festival has reached a resolution with news of a settlement from the town of Riverhead, N.Y.

Riverhead officials recently voted to approve a $1 million settlement with the Field Day festival, which was organized by promoter Andrew Dreskin and AEG Live and canceled just two days before it was to take place June 7-8, 2003, at Calverton Enterprise Park.

Scheduled acts included Beastie Boys, Beck, and Radiohead, and 55,000 tickets were sold. But after a mass gathering permit was denied, the event was moved to Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., truncated to one day and drew 20,000 people.

Dreskin and Co. filed suit against the city, county and the chief of police, claiming a $5 million loss from the last-minute change to the event.

The suit stated the promoters had entered into a “License Agreement for Outdoor Event” with Riverhead on Feb. 20, 2003, after notifying the town of their interest in the park the previous November.

But an issue arose in the leadup to the event when it came to Field Day securing a permit from Suffolk County.
Town Attorney Robert Kozakiewicz told the Riverhead Patch a camping component of the fest raised issues at the county level over the permit.

“Ultimately, they were unable to get approval from the county,” Kozakiewicz said, noting the town’s board then followed suit, denying the request to approve the event.

The $1 million settlement will include $250,000 from the town and $750,000 from an insurance policy, the Patch said.

“This ends it with the Town of Riverhead and the police chief,” Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter told the paper.

Litigation with the county is apparently ongoing.