While every burgeoning business has it’s fair share of hiccups, the FOLD Festival in Riverhead, NY weathered a series of natural and man-made challenges to attract 3,000+ attendees each night during their first, ever, summer music concerts. What they hope will be the maiden voyage of an annual event, the August 4/5 talent and crowd energy was of Herculean proportion.
Unlike the over-abundance of EDM-driven confabs, FOLD catered to a more mature demographic by featuring timeless superstars like Chaka Khan, Duran Duran, Melle Mel, and CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers (the latter of which is also the festival’s founder and host). And for the younger, multi-format music lovers, the Long Island< New York shows also featured Janelle Monáe, Pharrell Williams, Beck, Keith Urban and Ultra Naté. While Electronic Dance Music festivals, more often than not, feature unapproachable DJ’s perched high atop an oversized stage, every FOLD performer interacted, effortlessly, with their audience.
Despite his 40+ years of musical accomplishments, writing, producing, and playing on such timeless hits as Madonna‘s ‘Like A Virgin’, David Bowie‘s ‘Let’s Dance’, Duran Duran‘s ‘Notorious’ and ‘I’m coming Out’ and ‘Upside Down’ by Diana Ross, a humble Nile Rodgers took the mic at the mainstage last night and said, “I know I dream big and I think big, and I probably overbooked it because we only have a few minutes each to play, because we have a curfew here.” And then added that FOLD ’16 will take place on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
From funky disco classics to contemporary pop hits, and from classy wine tasting to an inordinately hospitable staff, FOLD’s inaugural year was a slam-dunk.