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Huntington Lighthouse Music fest scheduled

It'll be like no other show in the world.

That's what organizers say about the sixth annual Huntington Lighthouse Music Fest scheduled Saturday atop the lighthouse at the junction of Huntington and Lloyd harbors.

"There are very few offshore lighthouses that have the facilities to do this," said Pamela Setchell, president of the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society, the nonprofit group that leases and maintains the site. "Although our lighthouse marks rocks you would never want to hit, it's not particularly treacherous water in terms of the current."

The show's producer, Donald Davidson, said the logistics of staging a major concert at such a remote and watery venue -- where there is no electricity, phone signals, Wi-Fi or Internet and extremely restricted space -- is not the only issue.

"As if all that is not challenging enough, we have a tide issue," Davidson said. "But we get it done. We just have to time our load-ins and outs with the tides."

This year's lineup features eight bands that will play from 11 a.m. to sunset and offer something for everyone, from good old-fashioned rock and roll to reggae with some funk and folk rock thrown into the mix.

This year, the lighthouse is celebrating its 100th birthday and a $250,000 grant from the state parks department was awarded to the foundation. The lighthouse needs 650 tons of granite boulders to protect the concrete at its base and landing, which is being eroded by wind, weather and boat traffic.

"It's a matching grant so we have to raise those funds," Setchell said. "The real slogan is: What does a lighthouse want for its 100th birthday? It wants 2,500 of its closest friends to give it $100."

Setchell said the festival has become one of the area's most popular boating events, with more than 7,000 participants attending by yacht, boat, kayak, canoe, inner tube or other mode of water transportation.

"Boaters come from New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Westchester," Setchell said."Many come in the night before and anchor out in the mooring field and then spend the next day there relaxing to the music."

The concert is free, but cannot be seen from the shore.

A temporary 5-mph speed limit for a 1-mile radius around the lighthouse on all waters controlled by Huntington Town will be in place to help control crowds during the festival. The move is in response to three children drowning when a cabin cruiser capsized while returning from a July Fourth fireworks show in Oyster Bay Harbor.


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