Destructive gusts of wind early Tuesday delayed last night's "FreakOut! Let's Dance" music festival at a Riverhead winery after organizers spent hours reconstructing the sets on stage.
But the music flowed and the dancing continued past the posted 11 p.m. closing time as most concertgoers reveled in the show. Others voiced frustration with what they felt were short sets by the top artists billed for the first night of the two-day event.
"I'm disappointed," John Cannon, 30, an attorney, said when Pharrell Williams left the stage after singing only "Blurred Lines," "Happy," and his Daft Punk hit, "Get Lucky." "I drove all the way here from Manhattan."
A spokeswoman for Nile Rodgers Productions said FOLD organizer Rodgers, a musician with the disco/funk group Chic, curated the show and "everyone was having a lot of fun."
Rodgers told the crowd he planned to bring the festival back. "Just to let you know how committed I am, I've already booked this for next year," he said. "We're gonna do three nights -- Friday, Saturday and Sunday."
Gates to the show at Martha Clara Vineyards opened at 6 p.m. and about an hour later Rodgers apologized to the crowd for his appearance -- blaming his casual attire on the hectic nature of the day.
"Please forgive me for playing my show in jeans and a T-shirt," he said. "We simply did not have time to get it right."
Several DJs kept the crowd grooving while they awaited the main acts. DJ GTA spun a dance remix of Billy Joel's "Oh, What a Night," while, simultaneously, the Long Island singer was gearing up to perform at the Nassau Coliseum's last event before it is torn down.
Chic ran through a crowd-pleasing set of enduring dance tunes, from "He's The Greatest Dancer" to "I Want Your Love." The band played a string of Rodgers-penned hits for other artists, including Diana Ross' "Upside Down" and Sister Sledge's "We Are Family."
Chic and Rodgers served as the night's house band, running through genres from country to dance-pop as they backed country star Keith Urban, whose five-song set wrapped up with "Somebody Like You."
The concert, which continues tonight, was expected to draw around 10,000 guests each night, according to its website. The spokeswoman for Rodgers said about 3,300 people were in attendance yesterday.
Traffic was among top concerns for local officials, who worried that large crowds and their vehicles could produce long backups on town roads, reminiscent of winery visitors on weekends. Police reported no issues with the festival or traffic. The festivities were scheduled to end around 11 p.m., the town police chief said.
Beck pushed closing time past 11:30 with a late-starting but energetic sampling from his eclectic career. He told the crowd the performance was to be his last in the U.S. this year.
Dineen Sigona, 50, also known as DJ SpinDetta in New York City, said she was "happy there's finally something like this out here on Long Island . . . I wish there were more."
Russell Castrogiovanni, 54, of Farmingdale, said he was excited to see some of his favorites, including Chaka Khan and Duran Duran, who are to play today, but thought the event could be better.
"I think it's a great concept but it needs to be improved. It needs more organization and a lot more vendors. But once they get more exposure a lot more people will sign up. It's a great concept to bring people to the East End," he said.