New York Governor Andrew Cuomo launched an investigation into The Chainsmokers’ recent concert in The Hamptons amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The performance, which was part of the Safe & Sound series, took place on Saturday, July 25, at Nova’s Ark Project in Water Mill, New York. It was promoted online as a “drive-in music experience” that would set “the bar for all events to come.” All proceeds went to three nonprofit organizations: Southampton Fresh Air Home, No Kid Hungry and Children’s Medical Fund of New York.
However, several concertgoers shared videos on social media that showed people dancing and singing outside of their cars, seemingly ignoring public health precautions.
The show caught the attention of Cuomo, 62, who tweeted on Monday, July 27, “Videos from a concert held in Southhampton on Saturday show egregious social distancing violations. I am appalled.”
He added, “The Department of Health will conduct an investigation. We have no tolerance for the illegal & reckless endangerment of public health.”
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
BuzzFeed News reported that approximately 2,000 people attended the performance. Ticket packages ranged from $850 to VIP options for $25,000.
The organizers of the event said cars had designated parking spaces in front of the stage, which attendees were instructed not to leave unless they had to use the bathroom. Additionally, concertgoers’ temperatures were checked upon arrival, hand sanitizer and protective face masks were made readily available and security guards were on hand to control the crowd.
New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker also criticized the concert, as the state has banned all non-essential gatherings of more than 50 people amid the novel coronavirus crisis.
“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 in a letter to the town’s supervisor, Jay Schneiderman, on Monday, per BuzzFeed News.
The Chainsmokers’ Alex Pall and Drew Taggart have yet to publicly address the backlash.
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