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Coronavirus fears apparently won't stop Chainsmokers fans from getting "Closer" than six feet apart.
A charity "drive-in" concert in the Hamptons on Saturday night, (ironically) dubbed "Safe & Sound" and headlined by the DJ duo, has drawn criticism both on social media and from New York state officials due to a seeming lack of health precautions. A widely circulated video from the event appeared to show attendees ignoring social distancing guidelines during the concert, prompting the state of New York to launch an investigation into the event.
"I am appalled," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wrote on Twitter Monday night. "The Department of Health will conduct an investigation. We have no tolerance for the illegal & reckless endangerment of public health."
New York’s health commissioner, Howard A. Zucker, wrote a scathing letter to the town supervisor of Southampton, where the concert took place. “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.
Videos from a concert held in Southampton on Saturday show egregious social distancing violations. I am appalled.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 28, 2020
The Department of Health will conduct an investigation.
We have no tolerance for the illegal & reckless endangerment of public health.pic.twitter.com/gf9kggdo8w
The organizers of the concert, In the Know Experiences and Invisible Noise, said in a statement provided to EW that the footage did not reflect the health precautions taken at the event. "The criticism based on a two second video does not accurately depict the entire event. This video is misleading based on the angle and the lighting in which it was shot," the statement reads. "The clip shows footage of the Chainsmokers friends and family section, which was separated by stanchions and metal barricades, each section limited to no more than 10 people max."
The organizers said they "followed all proper and current protocol," noting that guests were provided with complimentary face masks, had their temperatures taken before entry, and were instructed not to leave their designated spaces except to use the restroom. They added that security guards "regularly patrolled the area" to enforce the guidelines. Many attendees also told BuzzFeed News that they "felt very safe" and followed social distancing measures during the event.
Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, whose own band opened for the Chainsmokers at the concert, told the East Hampton Star that the permit for the event did not include a V.I.P. area and that the town would be citing the organizers. "As proposed to us, it met the guidelines. However, the organizers didn't strictly adhere to it," Schneiderman said. "It's unfortunate, because we're trying to raise money for charity and trying to find ways for people to come together safely."