Promoters could not obtain a permit for their original site, in Suffolk County, New York, because they couldn't supply the additional 200 law enforcement officers that county officials deemed necessary to patrol this weekend's two-day festival, slated to feature the Beastie Boys, Radiohead, the Roots, N.E.R.D. and Beck (see "Beasties, Radiohead Need A Few Good Men To Police Their Show").
The town of Riverhead was willing to provide around 75 police officers and expected to get additional help from Suffolk County and possibly the state, but when it became clear that neither would be pitching in, the Suffolk County health commissioner announced that he would not provide a permit. Last week organizers vowed to fight on in the face of that decision, but now they're looking for another venue to house the festival, which is expected to draw 50,000 people.
"The access to the proposed site is on a rural road and there would have been a significant number of police required to address traffic control issues," said county attorney Derrick Robinson, who added that the county wanted to avoid the type of situation that occurred at Bonnaroo outside of Memphis, where there was a 16-mile backup on the highway. "Can you imagine a 16-mile backup on the Long Island Expressway on the weekend with people going up to the Hamptons?"
An attorney for Field Day promoter Andrew Dreskin said the county's demands were excessive and geared toward making sure the event wouldn't happen. Dreskin earlier said that if the county derailed the show, he had "a fleet of attorneys chomping at the bit to sue."