Sub Radio Standard will be one of more than 100 acts at this weekend’s festival
By Mara Certic
After a long, cold, lonely winter, Montauk is gearing up to summer speed this weekend, when more than 100 musical acts converge on the East End for the fifth annual Montauk Music Festival.
“I always thought it would be great to have a musical event here,” said Kenny Giustino, publisher of the Montauk Sun, the founder and co-producer along with Ocean Productions of the festival. “I thought it would be a great event for Montauk.”
The idea, he explained, was to organize the event on an off-season weekend to promote business for local restaurants, motels and bars. “Montauk used to be a ghost town on the weekend before Memorial Day,” he said.
The weekend is made possible by local businesses working together. Motel owners donate rooms to accommodate all of the musicians who will perform in 35 different locations throughout Montauk. Restaurants represent the majority of musical venues during the festival, providing different atmospheres to suit distinct musical genres.
Venues range from the Montauket, a prime location to watch the sunset, to late-night hotspot the Sloppy Tuna—and everything in between. “It really catapults us into the season,” said Kyle Siegel, a Montauk local and bartender at 668 The Gig Shack, that will serve as a venue for 10 different artists this weekend, including a local staple, The Montauk Project.
The four-day event kicks off with a party at Gurney’s Inn on Thursday night. Music will be peppered throughout the hamlet on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A stage on the green will provide a central hub for the festival on Saturday and Sunday, when musicians will perform short sets all day long from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Mr. Giustino said the Montauk Music Festival is renting a tent this year, just in case of rain.
That will come as good news to Sub-Radio Standard, a six-piece band from Sterling, Virginia, which will be performing on the green Sunday at 11:25 a.m. Their last festival appearance at George Mason University’s Mason Day Festival was cancelled due to an unfortunately timed downpour. “Yeah, we played a festival a little while ago, but it rained for the entire 30 minutes we were supposed to play,” said Matt Prodanovich, lead guitarist and back-up vocalist. The six band members, all in their early 20s, formed their band in high school and have continued playing together since.
Sub-Radio Standard, whose music has been compared to The Fray and Maroon 5, has recently released a new EP, “Where I’m Coming From,” available on iTunes and Spotify. The band has met with success and opened for chart-topper Aloe Blacc at Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club in 2012. “It’s a huge venue for a band of our size,” Mr. Prodanovich said of the 1,200-seat capacity nightclub. The band is excited for is first trip to Montauk, which will be its first out-of-state concert.
In addition to the show on the green, Sub-Radio Standard will perform at Shagwong, the Montauket and the favorite of the Rolling Stones, the Memory Motel.
Opening day of the festival will be both a musical and personal milestone for classically trained singer and pianist, Fawn Segerson. Not only will this be her first performance on the East End, but Thursday, May 15, will mark the fifth anniversary of Ms. Segerson quitting her high-flying accountant position at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Today, Ms. Segerson maintains she is “beyond happy” with her decision. “I’ve just learned so much,” said the musician, who also plays the ukulele and the organ.
Her soothing voice will captivate diners on Friday and Saturday nights at Montauk’s Harvest restaurant on Fort Pond. Ms. Segerson will play the piano and be accompanied on the drums and bass by friends and members of the band mellish, who will also be featured during the festival.
Festival-goers will see familiar faces, particularly at the Lantern Sound Recording Rig Stage, which, weather permitting, will be located outside at the Hideaway Restaurant at Diamond Cove Marina. Local musician and producer Mick Hargreaves returns to the Music Festival this year as both an artist and an MC for the waterfront stage.
“I thought it might be fun to host a whole stage and lend a little effort to the organization,” said Mr. Hargreaves, who will provide the sound system, host and perform both on Friday and Saturday nights.
“I get to help out bands that are working with me and maybe find some new bands, too,” he said. Two of the acts performing on the stage, Bryan Gallo and Butcher’s Blind, are currently recording with Mr. Hargreaves.
“The town, overall, is hosting the music festival,” Mr. Giustino said. “And I appreciate the local people making the musicians feel at home.”
The Clam & Chowder House at Salivar’s, The Lighthouse Grill, Swallow East, Lynn’s Hula Hut, Gringo’s are just a few locations the Montauk Music Festival will set up shop. To check out all of the venues, artists and the schedule for the weekend visit montaukmusicfestival.com.