The promoter who organized a Hamptons concert featuring the Chainsmokers in July has been fined by New York State. Attendees at the event — which was prohibited at the time because it was a non-essential gathering — were seen violating pandemic safety guidelines by not wearing masks and not social distancing.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that promoter "In the Know Experiences" would be fined $20,000 for violating the state's executive order. The July 25th event at Nova's Ark Project in Water Mill was fashioned as a drive-in fundraiser, with other acts including Southampton’s Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, singer-songwriter Matt White and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon (DJ D-Sol). Headliner The Chainsmokers capped off the unforgettable night of music.
The drive-in aspect of the event was supposed to ensure "safe zones" for only four to six people, but the pretense of social distancing quickly collapsed:
According to Cuomo's office, "The Town of Southampton issued the promoter a special event permit for the concert after its review of the promoter's Special Events Application, which stated numerous measures that ostensibly would be taken to protect against COVID-19. Critically, the promoter's Special Events Application omitted reference to a designated 'friends and family' section where concertgoers could freely congregate and where mask-wearing was not enforced."
An investigation from state's Department of Health also found that 2,150 people attended, above the number allowed on the permit.
A spokesperson for promoter insisted they followed CDC guidelines and did their best to ensure safety, including asking guests to monitor their temperatures for two weeks (plus on-site temperature checks) and disclose whether they had COVID-19, and broadcasting reminders to wear masks throughout the evening. After hearing about the event, Cuomo called it "a gross violation of common sense" and "grossly disrespectful to fellow New Yorkers.”
The fine was announced during Cuomo's press call on Wednesday along with other measures, like withholding state funding from non-compliant yeshivas that are disregarding orders to close in COVID cluster red zones.