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!

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