The promoters of a Chainsmokers “drive-in” concert in the Hamptons this summer will be fined $20,000 for violating public health laws after videos showed attendees violating pandemic safety measures, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.
The July event, called “Safe and Sound Concert Series,” drew more than 2,000 attendees. Videos from the concert sparked swift backlash, as well as a state investigation. People were also especially upset that concertgoers in the pit section did not appear to be social distancing or wearing masks.
At the time, several concertgoers told BuzzFeed News that they “felt very safe” at the event because of safety protocols. A representative from In the Know Experiences also told BuzzFeed News they “collaborated with all state and local health officials to keep everyone safe.”
But the New York State Department of Health found that In the Know Experiences did not mention in its permit application with the Town of Southampton that there would be a “designated ‘friends and family’ section where concertgoers could freely congregate and where mask-wearing was not enforced,” the governor’s office said.
The state’s investigation determined that the company violated public health law by organizing a nonessential gathering and failing to enforce mask-wearing among guests. The event, it concluded, “created conditions that increased the risk of spreading COVID-19 in New York.”
A spokesperson for In the Know Experiences directed BuzzFeed News to a PR firm, which declined to comment on the company’s behalf.
The governor also said the town of Southampton will be barred from signing off on permits for group gatherings without state government approval.
Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, whose band performed at the event, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, he told ABC 7 News in July that the town “would never have allowed” the event to happen if officials knew there would be a section allowing people to gather freely. There was no one in that area when his band performed, Schneiderman added.
“I never would have personally participated in an event if I had any sense that the organizer would violate the conditions of the permit,” he told the news station.
The management team for the Chainsmokers, an EDM pop duo, did not respond to a request for comment.