Two-day Blues & Roots Festival planned for Calverton canceled

The Long Island Blues & Roots Festival planned for Sept. 8 and 9 at the Long Island Sports Park in Calverton has been postponed until 2019, according to its website.

Tickets for the two-day festival went on sale in April and its organizers promised over a dozen performances by blues and rock artists, craft beer, art and food vendors.

The event website had also been advertising on-site tent and RV camping during the festival.

LISP owner Dean Del Prete declined to comment when reached by the News-Review.

A special-event permit had been submitted to Riverhead Town but the application never went before the Town Board or the Planning Board. The proposal would have required county approvals in order to have overnight camping.

Mr. Del Prete has held numerous events at the LISP, located on the former Calverton Links golf course, including a Mexican folklore and bull riding event; an event featuring the world’s biggest bounce house; along with footraces, golf and paintball events.

He had been applying for special-event permits to host those activities at the 82-acre site until the Town Board suggested he seek site plan approval for the entire site, indicating the type of events he would regularly host there.

At a meeting in May, LISP was granted preliminary site-plan approval to operate a multipurpose sports park and event site. Final site-plan approval was given in June with the conditions that parking be limited to 193 vehicles and that no food service take place at the existing restaurant and clubhouse on the property.

The Planning Board determined that any event expected to attract more than 193 cars would need a special-event permit.

Additionally, the board decided that a certificate of occupancy would not be issued until the planning staff performs a site inspection to verify the location of a fence delineating the wetlands on site and damaged sections of a chain-link fence along Edwards Avenue were repaired.

Mr. Del Prete returned before the Planning Board in August to discuss amendments to those conditions. 

Riverhead had been home to a blues festival, which started in 1998 and was run by downtown’s Business Improvement District. The event lost steam in 2012 and was eventually canceled the following two years.

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