SCCC official: No Blues Fest planned for this campus

02/12/2011 11:00 AM |
JOHN NEELY FILE PHOTO | Blues Festival typically draws more than 10,000 people downtown over two days each July.

JOHN NEELY FILE PHOTO | Blues Festival typically draws more than 10,000 people downtown over two days each July.

Organizers of the popular Riverhead Blues Festival said last month they were considering a change in venue, possibly to Suffolk Community College’s Eastern Campus in nearby Northampton, in light of the difficulties they had last year when the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce sought to take over the popular event.

But it doesn’t appear as if the college is on the same page.

A representative at Suffolk Community College, Mary Lou Araneo, told the News-Review Friday there “are no ongoing discussions and no plans to hold the festival at the college’s Eastern Campus.”

So does that mean the Blues Fesival will be held downtown and run by the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall nonprofit group as its chief fundraiser, as has been the case since 2006? Officials on the board of the Vail-Leavitt group, president Bob Barta and treasurer Vince Tria declined to comment.

For weeks before last year’s scheduled July festival, Vail-Leavitt officials repeatedly butted heads with Chamber members as well as Business Improvement District officials. The groups together, with the political backing of the town supervisor, tried to force the Vail-Leavitt group to abdicate control of the two-day fair.

The Vail-Leavitt group eventually got the go-ahead.

Mr. Barta told the paper in December: “If they are going to try and play that game again, we’re not into playing. The survival of a nonprofit, charitable, all-volunteer organization depends on the success of the festival, so I need to be sure that we’re going to mimimize the impact of outside forces … I’d like to see it continue downtown.”

Janine Nebons, the Chamber’s newly elected president, had told the News-Review in December the Chamber will not seek to run the Blues Festival this year.

tgannon@timesreview.com

Comments

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41 Comment

  • Whatever happened to all of the wonderful plans that were being made to bring our beautiful Riverhead back to its former glory days? It began in earnest several years ago.. What happened? It’s back to being a ghost town again! Almost every storefront is vacant!!! It’s so upsetting to drive along Main Street now – I avoid going through there if possible! So sad!

  • Whatever happened to all of the wonderful plans that were being made to bring our beautiful Riverhead back to its former glory days? It began in earnest several years ago.. What happened? It’s back to being a ghost town again! Almost every storefront is vacant!!! It’s so upsetting to drive along Main Street now – I avoid going through there if possible! So sad!

  • Whatever happened to all of the wonderful plans that were being made to bring our beautiful Riverhead back to its former glory days? It began in earnest several years ago.. What happened? It’s back to being a ghost town again! Almost every storefront is vacant!!! It’s so upsetting to drive along Main Street now – I avoid going through there if possible! So sad!

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  • This is the most ridiculous news ever. Seriously, we live in a world full of noise because we are too lazy to get off our butts and use the gifts that God has given to us. I still say that the level of helicopter noise here on the East End is NOTHING. Moving the flight path only means that they will fly over someone else’s home. Seriously. Get over yourselves and be grateful that it is only a COUPLE of civilian helicopters as opposed to the sound of military aircraft flying overhead protecting and serving your right to complain about nonsense.

  • A little technical error in the story: Combined cash assets total about $140,000 not $250,000.