Riverhead Blues Fest organizers planning a comeback for 2012

The Vail-Leavitt Music Hall is planning to bring back the annual Riverhead Blues Festival this year, according to Vince Tria, the group’s secretary.

And Riverhead Town Board members and leaders of the Business Improvement District said they will work with Vail-Leavitt to help the event take place.

Mr. Tria spoke at the Town Board work session Thursday, as the board was reviewing the BID’s contract and schedule of events for 2012.

“I don’t want to have any conflicts on that date,” Supervisor Sean Walter said, alluding to whatever the date the Blues Festival is planned for.

The only date he said the event shouldn’t be held on is the day of the BID’s annual cardboard boat race.

Two years ago, the BID and the Chamber of Commerce sought to take over the management of the Blues Festival from Vail-Leavitt, and Mr. Walter backed that effort. Eventually, they backed off and Vail-Leavitt held the event.

Last year, Vail-Leavitt opted not to have the event, fearing they would meet with opposition from the town.

Mr. Tria said they now plan to hold the festival again, although he said there is an issue with insurance, since the town code requires them to have  sufficient insurance four months in advance of the event, and they don’t have that money yet.

Mr. Walter said the town will find a way to make the event happen.

“This is not an insurmountable problem,” he said. “Let’s make this work.”

“I’m glad everybody is getting along this year,” Councilman John Dunleavy said.

“We don’t want a conflict,” Mr. Pickersgill said.

The BID this year already has plans to hold a number of the events it held last year, including the  cardboard boat race, the antique show, the Fourth of July concert and fireworks, the Thursday Cruise Night car show, the country and western concert, the oldies concert, and the holiday bonfire.

Mr. Pickersgill said their calendar doesn’t show the Mardi Gras festival, which they held for the first time last year, but that they haven’t eliminated it and are looking for a date that doesn’t conflict with other events.

But the BID’s annual Fourth of July concert will not have it’s headline act of the past two years, Brady Rhymer, because Mr. Rymer, a Grammy-nominated singer from Southold, is scheduled to perform in Southold on the Fourth of July this year, Mr. Pickersgill added.

“Wow, no Brady Rymer,” Mr. Walter said.

Mr. Rhymer has drawn big crowds to the Riverfront for the past two July 4th concerts.

Mr. Pickersgill said they have other performers planned for that date this year.

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