Projections of a rained-out weekend forced a postponement of one major act and the relocation of others indoors, but the balmy temperatures and lack of precipitation on Saturday and Sunday brought many a festival-goer past the open doors of the soon-to-be Long Island Music Hall of Fame, which received proceeds from the weekend-long event.
"A lot of the people who came into the village were not from the village," said James Faith, organizer of the American Music Festival and chairman of the board of the future Hall of Fame. "People in many cases had no idea what was there or what we were doing."
Although many acts had to be moved indoors, not one was cancelled, Faith said, and the attracted plenty of attention with its large posters of famous Long Island musicians and a miniature model of the planned museum.
Vice-chair of the board Jeff James was posted at the building’s door on Sunday.
“There’s been a lot of interest because there’s music of all kinds,” he said.
Music of all types could be heard throughout the downtown area that day, with bluegrass, country, rock and jazz acts playing all afternoon at various locations off of Main and East Main Street. Saturday also saw all its scheduled performances, though many had to be moved to indoor stages. That didn’t stop them from being a success, said Faith.
"Schafer’s was packed for Rosie Ledet," he said.
Yvonne Affronti of Port Jefferson said she enjoyed the “Kerry Ferry,” a two-hour ride on the ferry with live music by the Kerry Kearney Band, a Long Island-based blues group that has toured nationally and internationally.
"I love Kerry Kearney," Affronti said, "He’s a real person. He’s not a big star but he’s good enough to be one."
Affronti said she didn’t see as much of a crowd as there has been for the festival in years past.
"I think because of the weather," she said.
Barbara Ransome, director of operations for the village’s Chamber of Commerce, said attendance at the festival was lower than what the Chamber had expected, but she did not have an estimate of what the number was.
That didn’t prevent the Hall of Fame from benefiting, according to Faith.
"Hundreds of people came by to say hello," he said.
He also feels that people were excited about the educational programs that will be offered when the Hall opens next year.
"It’s going to be a very important place to the island," he said.