Chainsmokers Concert To Be Investigated Over Egregious Social-Distancing Violations – A charity concert on Saturday night in the Hamptons featuring performances from the chief executive of Goldman Sachs and the D.J. duo the Chainsmokers drew widespread outrage and a state investigation after video footage showed attendees appearing to ignore public health precautions.
Chainsmokers Concert To Be Investigated Over Egregious Social-Distancing Violations:
New York health authorities will investigate a charity concert in the Hamptons, which included performances by the Goldman Sachs chief, David Solomon, and DJ duo the Chainsmokers, over what Governor Andrew Cuomo called “egregious” social distancing violations.
The concert, called Safe & Sound, took place on Saturday night in the Hamptons and was billed as a “drive-in music experience.” It was the first in a series of such concerts planned for the United States, according to its organiser’s website. Guests would be able to sit outside near their parked vehicles in spaced-out areas to watch the performances.
Video taken from the stage showed crowds of people outside their cars, standing in close proximity.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo said he was “appalled” by the footage.
Announcing an investigation into the concert, Andrew Cuomo wrote: “We have no tolerance for the illegal and reckless endangerment of public health.”
Southampton’s mayor, Jesse Warren, hosted the event. David Solomon, who goes by the DJ name D-Sol, performed for an hour at a 100-acre sculpture park, said in an interview with Bloomberg, “The group that put this together did an incredible job in a difficult environment.”
But the event instead has generated angry social media posts, and on Monday it drew the ire of state officials.
Videos from a concert held in Southampton on Saturday show egregious social distancing violations. I am appalled.
The Department of Health will conduct an investigation.
We have no tolerance for the illegal & reckless endangerment of public health.pic.twitter.com/gf9kggdo8w
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 28, 2020
The event’s organisers, In The Know Experiences and Invisible Noise, said they collaborated with state and local health officials and followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. A statement said organisers “made best efforts to ensure New York’s social distancing guidelines were properly maintained throughout the event”.
Guests’ temperatures were checked and “security guards regularly patrolled the area to encourage mask wearing and promote social-distancing guidelines,” the organisers said.
The organisers did not answer questions about whether they knew that people were breaking the rules.
The organisers also added that dividers separated parties in the contested VIP area, and that “guests were also instructed that they would not be allowed to leave their designed spots for any reason other than to use the restroom”.
Concert-goers who spoke to Buzzfeed also said they “felt very safe” and that fellow fans were “being responsible” during the show.
New York Concert Is Under Fire After Crowd Packs Venue In Hamptons, ‘Egregious’ Distancing Violations Video:
The event page advertised the concert, headlined by The Chainsmokers, as a socially distanced drive-in benefit concert that would allow 600 vehicles.
New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker sent a letter Monday inquiring about the concert to Southhampton’s Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.
The commissioner noted that New York is still in a declared state of emergency due to the Covid-19 pandemic and that several executive orders and health regulations requiring social distancing have been issued since March.
All non-essential gatherings of more than 50 people are currently banned in the state, with a maximum fine of $1,000 for violating social distancing protocol.
In the letter to the town’s supervisor, Dr. Howard Zucker said he was “greatly disturbed” by the reports of “thousands of people in close proximity, out of their vehicles, a VIP area where there was no pretense of a vehicle, and generally not adhering to social distancing guidance.”
“I am at a loss as to how the Town of Southampton could have issued a permit for such an event, how they believed it was legal and not an obvious public health threat,” Zucker wrote.
Dr. Howard Zuckerde requested in the letter that Schneiderman respond within 24 hours as to whether the town issued a permit for the concert, under what conditions a permit was issued, and why the concert was allowed to continue “when it became clear violations were rampant.”
The town supervisor, Jay Schneiderman, who was also listed as a performer at the concert, acknowledged that “aspects of the event violated the permit”.
“They opened up a VIP area that was not part of the concert” approved by the town, he told the local newspaper. “We would never have approved a gathering area.”
An estimated 2,000 people attended the gig, with ticket prices ranging from $850 (£661) to $25,000 (£19,450). Proceeds went to charity, according to the event’s website.
Other performers at the event included the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, David M. Solomon, under his stage name DJ D-Sol.
The investigation into the Safe & Sound concert comes as the UK government holds “pilot shows” to test how live music could resume after the Covid-19 lockdown.