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The FOLD Festival is coming back next summer, and this time it’ll be bigger than ever before.

The music fest is set to return in a weekend in August for an extended three-day event, organizer Peter Herman said.

Last June’s FOLD Festival lineup featured big-name music acts such as Beck, Duran Duran, Chaka Khan, Keith Urban, and Pharrell Williams joining producer and performer and music producer Nile Rodgers at the two-day music fest. This time around, local bands and performing artists will also get a chance to join the show.

The festival is working with East End Arts’ JumpstART program to find emerging local artists and give them their chance on stage.

“It’s a festival by the artists for artists and for the community,” Herman said at Thursday’s Riverhead Town Board meeting.

According to a special events permit that’s expected to be approved, the festival will run over the weekend from Aug. 13 to 15, 2016. This past year’s festival ran on two weekdays at Martha Clara Vineyards, making it difficult for attendees to get to the show, Herman said.

“Economically, it only works on a weekend,” he said.

The festival is also scheduled to begin earlier in the day in 2016, with musical acts set to take the stage at 12 p.m and wrap up by 11 p.m., he said. That added time, Herman said, will not only let major artists perform longer, but will also give the local acts their own spots in the lineup to fill.

Herman said the organizers will announce the lineup in early January and begin selling tickets soon after.

The move to include local artists is how the show plans to “evolve” into an annual production and capitalize on the festival’s expanding brand, organizers said. A second FOLD Festival modeled after the Riverhead event has already been planned for London next June.

Herman said he’s working with EEA executive director Pat Synder to set up which local to include in next year’s Riverhead festival. Artists will be invited to send video auditions.

“All [artists] have to do is inquire and we’ll figure out how to do it,” Herman told the News-Review.

Town Board members said they’d support the festival’s proposal since the previous event went off without any major concerns. Deputy supervisor Jill Lewis said her office got no complaints from neighbors; Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said the only complaints she heard came from Southold Town residents, who were unhappy the speakers were blasting music east.

“I think it was perfect the way it was,” Giglio said.

FOLD Festival organizer Peter Herman holds up a bottle of merlot made by Martha Clara Vineyards to commemorate this year’s festival. (Credit: Paul Squire)

“It was so quiet, the way it was handled,” Councilman George Gabrielsen agreed.

Police Chief David Hegermiller said the festival would draw more people on the weekend, but he was confident the police would be able to keep it safe.

“I think we can handle it,” he said. “It might take some additional manpower.”

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