LI Bands to Catch at the Montauk Music Festival

All eyes are turning to the East End music scene when the annual Montauk Music Festival swings back into town this month. From May 17-May 20, enjoy live music from more than 100 up-and-coming independent artists across all genres. That includes a bunch of local acts that prove talent thrives in these parts. Grab your beach chair and take in the good vibes and scenic views at this musical extravaganza.

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LI Music Festivals to Look Out For

Nonstop to Cairo

A little mix of ska, hip-hop and funk, Nonstop to Cairo is known for putting on an energetic show. The group, which has shared the stage with famous acts like The Wailers and Redman, is a quintet made up of longtime friends from Baldwin. Formed nearly 10 years ago, Nonstop to Cairo recently released a full-length debut, Dabble Heavy, which the band describes as “a nonstop ride from beginning to end.” Check them out: May 17 (7pm at Montauk Yacht Club), May 18 (5pm at Atlantic Terrace, 9pm at Memory Motel and 11pm at The Point Bar & Grill), May 19 (4pm at Montauk Beach House), May 20 (5pm at Sole East)

Kate Usher & The Sturdy Souls

A Montauk duo that loves to surf, Kate Usher & The Sturdy Souls will provide soothing and sultry vibes. Hear singer Kate Usher and guitarist/keyboardist Kevin Angiulo perform covers and originals, including their recently released debut single “Halfway.” The laid-back R&B jam is off the band’s upcoming EP, Circles, coming out on May 18. Check them out: May 17 (10:55pm at Montauk Yacht Club), May 18 (6pm at Montauket and 11pm at Shagwong Restaurant and Bar), May 19 (2pm at Montauk Beach House, 7:20pm at Surf Lodge and 12am at Memory Hotel), May 20 (1:30pm at Green Pavilion)

A Second Life

This alternative rock band—Chris Damphouse (vocals), Dan DelVecchio (guitars and vocals), Max Ross (guitar, piano, vocals), Justin Scheidling (drums), Dan O’Dowd (bass) and Rob Mino (guitar)—is all about making thought-provoking music. Take the group’s debut single “Civil War,” which includes the lyrics “Can we be one human race, live together in this space? Can we end this war tonight?” It has amassed more than 100,000 views on YouTube since its release last March. Check them out: May 17 (7:45pm at Montauk Yacht Club), May 18 (6pm at Montauk Point State Park, George’s Lighthouse Cafe), May 19 (7pm at Shagwong Restaurant and Bar and 11pm at Memory Motel), May 20 (6pm at Montauket) 

Sir Cadian Rhythm

Formed on LI in 2015, Sir Cadian Rhythm is comprised of five musicians—Jack Weppler (lead vocals), Alex Laudani (guitar), Matt Carlin (keyboard/vocals/trombone), Micah Cowher (drums) and Richie Cluxton (bass)—whose different musical backgrounds help bring forth the band’s electric rock sound. The group steadily tours up and down the East Coast and has opened for popular acts including Andy Grammer and The Robert Randolph Band. Check them out: May 18 (6pm at Lynn’s Hula Hut and 10pm at Swallow East), May 19 (11:25am at Green Pavilion, 5pm at Sole East and 11pm at East By Northeast), May 20 (2pm at Montauk Lighthouse)

Like Minded Criminals

A newer Long Island rock band to hit the scene, Like Minded Criminals is made up of three self-taught musicians named Kevin Preller, Eric Ponto and Anthony Quartararo. The group, which recently completed a full-length debut, describes its sound as “Soundgarden and Foo Fighters mixed with Royal Blood.” Check them out: May 18 (8pm at The Hideaway), May 19 (6pm at Westlake Fish House and 8pm at Tauk at Trail’s End)

Ladies Drink Free

LDF, aka Ladies Drink Free, has been playing together since 2011. The Huntington Station group, currently consisting of eight members, is known for mixing sounds of funk, R&B, soul, pop rock and modern jazz. Check them out: May 17 (10:05pm at Montauk Yacht Club), May 18 (8pm at Swallow East, 10pm at The Sloppy Tuna), May 19 (3pm at Montauk Beach House and 10pm at Sloppy Tuna), May 20 (3:20pm at Green Pavilion and 5pm at Sloppy Tuna)

Bunktown Falls

Alex Mundo and Santo Puleo will bring a few Caribbean vibes to Montauk. The Long Beach duo known as Bunktown Falls (formed in 2015) defines itself as “jam fused funk-reggae” and is known to deliver a high-energy show. Check them out: May 17 (7:25pm at Montauk Yacht Club), May 18 (6pm at Tauk at Trail’s End and 11:59pm at The Point Bar & Grill), May 19 (7pm at Sole East and 9pm at Memory Motel), May 20 (5pm at Montauk Brewing Company and 8pm at Swallow East)

anna halkidis

anna halkidis

Anna Halkidis is a senior web editor at Long Island Pulse. Feel free to reach out at or on Twitter @annahalkidis.