Escape to New York

For Fred Fellowes, being away from his wife for seven weeks has been the hardest part of organizing the art and music festival Escape to New York, scheduled for August 5-7 at the Shinnecock Indian Reservation in Southampton. Considering all of the elements going into the event—a slew of indie music acts, interactive art and the world’s largest brunch, to name a few—Fellowes seems to have the whole, multifaceted shebang well under control.

His nine years of organizing the wildly popular Secret Garden festival in the UK have helped. Secret Garden, expected to attract 30,000 people this year, is an “experiential” festival Fellowes founded. It also serves as the inspiration for the local iteration. “Escape to New York has the same value system as the Secret Garden,” Fellowes said.

“Glamping,” glamorous camping, is one element both events share. Instead of the tightly-packed tent cities pitched on the perimeters of most festivals, Escape to New York offers a luxurious experience, complete with safari tents and teepees featuring double beds, room service and air-conditioning (for an added fee), according to a spokesperson for the event. “Glamping” will go down on the grounds of the Southampton Elks Lodge on County Road 39. There’s also regular camping, for free, at Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton.

Don’t forget the music, handpicked to provide a soundtrack for the weekend, Fellowes said. Punk rock “Godmother” Patti Smith serves as headliner, with bands including Of Montreal, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and The Psychedelic Furs. “It’s not necessarily the most seriously music-minded lineup,” Fellowes said. “It’s one element of the whole party.” Fellowes hopes that for event-goers, the weekend will be “the most fun they’ve ever had in a field.”

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