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Horton: NoFo Fest Attendance Was ‘Right in the Pocket’

Organizer for the Cutchogue music festival was happy with second-year turnout; winery manager wanted a bit more of a boost.

Now that the dust has settled — or more like now that the mist from the cooling tent has settled — after this past weekend’s second-annual at in Cutchogue, organizer Josh Horton said that he’s very happy with the turnout.

Without looking at hard numbers, Horton said on Thursday that the festival drew about 20 percent more people than last year, when Richie Haven and Mountain headlined.

“The attendance was fantastic — right in the pocket of what we expected,” he said, estimating that a total of about 3,000 people walked through the gates of the festival during the weekend.

Rockers who made it big in the early ‘70s such as — who played to an enthusiastic crowd — and more country-western and swing acts like were featured this year along with a variety of local bands during the hot weekend.

Peconic Bay’s general manager Jim Silver said he enjoyed British blues rocker Elvin Bishop, probably best know in the U.S. for his infectious hit “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” during his

“He was so good, and I’m sure he made lots of new fans,” Silver said. “The artists all had a lot of fun.”

But Silver added that he couldn’t figure out the event “wasn’t a smash.” He said he was expecting a much better crowd than last year.

“It makes no sense — maybe it was too hot?” he said.

Tickets this year were $48 per day instead of last year’s rate of $40, and beer from Blue Point Brewery was about $8 per cup.

“But that’s just $8 — I don’t get it,” Silver said, adding that with no indoor alternative if the weather is rainy, the festival is always a huge gamble. “And the fact that people don’t buy tickets in advance generally is scary.”

Both Silver and Horton said that though the concert is an expensive endeavor, both festivals have broken even and have shown great support for nonprofits like the

Horton, a former Supervisor, sang and played guitar with on Sunday before Foghat took the stage. He said he’s planning to organize a third NoFo Fest for next summer and would like to take a poll of Southold residents to see what kind of music they’d like to hear.

Silver suggested that pushing the festival to later in the year when it’s cooler might help attendance, as would the participation of other wineries.

“Spreading it around a little might help,” he said.

indy August 05, 2011 at 12:24 PM
Umm, "just $8" for a cup of beer and he doesn't get it?

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