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Town Could Settle Field Day Suit For $1 Million

Litigation has been ongoing since 2004.

After years of litigation, Riverhead Town is poised for a settlement regarding a headliner concert slated for Enterprise Park at Calverton that never happened.

The board discussed settlement of legal action by Field Day, LLC and AEG Live, LLC against the Town of Riverhead and Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller at Thursday's town board work session.

Litigation was commenced after a music festival, originally slated to be held in 2003 at EPCAL featuring bands including the Beastie Boys and Radiohead, never saw the light of day.

The settlement would be in the amount of $1 million. Of that, Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said, the town would contribute $250,000 and the insurance company would pay $750,000.

"This ends it with the Town of Riverhead and the police chief," Walter said. 

Litigation would still be ongoing with Suffolk County, he added.

According to Town Attorney Robert Kozakiewicz, who was supervisor at the time, in 2003, Andrew Dreskin, executive producer of Field Day, a proposed two-day music event, approached the board with plans to stage the event at EPCAL on the runway.

The town entered into a license agreement to allow the event in June of 2003.

The festival, Kozakiewicz said, was slated to be held on June 6 and 7; he said the concert organizers would be responsible for securing all required permits.

An issue arose, he said, with the mass gathering permit required from Suffolk County due to a camping component of the event. 

"Ultimately, they were unable to get approval from the county," Kozakiewicz said.

The town board denied the request for a chapter 90 to approve the event since county approval had not been granted.

Walter said the company was suing the town for almost $40 million at one point, beginning in 2004.

"It was a sizable amount," Kozakiewicz said, adding that organizers were suing for lost profits from the event -- including an option for a second year, where profits would have been lost, as well.

The group held a one-day concert at the Meadowlands, instead, Kozakiewicz said.

Hegermiller was sued, he added, because of his demand for additional police protection, which allegedly promoters said was unfounded.

Walter said after years, he was happy to see the matter come to a resolution.

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