The promoter of a controversial, non-socially-distanced Chainsmokers concert that was held in the Hamptons in New York over the summer will be fined $20,000 for violating public health law, according to a social media post by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday morning.
“Following an investigation into the Chainsmokers concert in the Hamptons this summer, the promoters will be fined $20,000 for violating public health law. Further, the Town of Southampton cannot approve permits for group gatherings without State approval,” the tweet reads.
Reps for the group and the promoter, In the Know Experiences and Invisible Noise, did not immediately respond to Variety’s requests for comment.
The concert, a charity fundraiser that took place late in July, was held at a 100-acre lot transformed into a drive-in for the concert, and immediately provoked controversy when photos of the crowd, which was close together and mingling, surfaced on social media. New York health commissioner Howard Zucker wrote to Southampton town supervisor Jay Schneiderman saying he was “greatly disturbed” about the concert. “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 the letter, which was excerpted by BuzzFeed News. Zucker suggested that at some point “it became clear violations were rampant.”
Video snippets posted on social media showed concertgoers dancing in close proximity to one another near the stage — albeit not in the shoulder-to-shoulder, packed conditions seen at other concerts general-admission concerts by Chase Rice, Chris Janson and Great White over the summer. The 2,000 attendees at the Hamptons show were asked to remain adjacent to their vehicles in designated parking areas, and concert organizers insist most or all did, although dancers were much more visible at the front of the stage than cars in videos that appeared. Photos and videos from the event show some attendees wearing masks, though they appear to be in the minority.
In response to the backlash, event organizers In The Know Experiences and Invisible Noise released a statement elaborating on what they characterized as proper safety precautions. The statement said, in part. that the show “followed the guidelines created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. … Prior to the event, all guests were instructed to self-monitor their temperature daily for two weeks leading up to the event, maintaining a temperature below 99.5° F (37.5° C). …. Upon arrival, individuals within each car had their temperatures taken and were also provided complimentary face masks before driving to their designated 20′ x 20′ spot. Guests were also instructed that they would not be allowed to leave their designed spots for any reason other than to use the restroom facilities.”
The benefit was an elite event, price-wise, with per-car ticket prices starting at $1250, and the super VIP package topping out at $25,000. Proceeds were earmarked for No Kid Hungry, Southampton Fresh Air Home and the Children’s Medical Fund of New York.
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