Mary Lyn Maiscott

Music in Montauk

Montauk prepares the Green for its annual music festival.

I’m sad to be missing the Montauk Music Festival, which was about to start just as I was leaving Montauk yesterday. The festival is in its sixth year but I’d never heard of it, even though I’ve been going out to Montauk periodically for a couple of decades. 

As you may know—especially if you live in New York or have watched the Showtime series The Affair—Montauk is a fishing village on the eastern tip of Long Island. Up until fairly recently (when the Surf Lodge club opened, drawing younger people and Hamptons spill-off), it was laid-back and low-key, despite the presence of some celebrity residents. Paul Simon has long had a house there (I picture it on the bluffs above the ocean, perhaps near Dick Cavett’s estate Tick Hall, but I don’t really know), and the Rolling Stones used to stay at Andy Warhol’s compound—there’s a funky motel right in town that inspired the Stones song “Memory Motel.”

The town was quiet this week when I was there—it’s still off-season—but now that about 100 acts have descended upon it (playing in venues ranging from a bakery shop to the aforementioned Surf Lodge), the tenor may have changed! As my husband, Bob, and I were checking out of our hotel, a man checking in spotted my travel guitar and said to his friend, “They’re probably here for the festival.” Hmm, maybe next year!