This is Wait, What?, a column that explains the seemingly incomprehensible.
Would you, my friend, risk your life and the lives of others in the middle of a global pandemic to see EDM duo The Chainsmokers in concert, presented by FuckJerry’s tequila line, with an opening set from DJ D-Sol (aka Goldman Sachs CEO David M. Solomon)? “No” you might be saying right now. “Absolutely fucking not,” perhaps. Possibly even, “who are any of those people?”
Well. An estimated crowd of 2,000 answered “yes” to that mad libs question from hell—and paid $1,250 to $25,000 per ticket for the honor—in the Hamptons on Saturday night. According to TMZ, the “Safe & Sound” concert was meant to be a socially-distanced drive-in show to benefit the charities No Kid Hungry, Southampton Fresh Air Home, and the Children's Medical Fund of New York and organized by In The Know Experiences—“a leading luxury travel & lifestyle agency, specializing in one-of-a-kind experiences around the globe”—and Invisible Noise.
But, with coronavirus cases spiking around the country, videos and photos posted of the night immediately prompted a swift and steady social media backlash and, soon after, a governmental investigation. Here, a thorough breakdown of this year’s Fyre Fest in miniature.
Who are the main players in this catastrophe?
An EDM duo consisting of two white men in their thirties named Alex Pall and Drew Taggart (do not ask me which is which). Best known for their 2016 hit single “Closer” with Halsey, which I must admit, I have never once not enjoyed hearing. They’re also the highest paid DJs in the world, pulling in $46 million in 2018 according to Forbes. It's important to note that they are not brothers, as I had previously thought.
The Goldman Sachs CEO since 2018, David Solomon, 58, performs as DJ D-Sol on the side. His debut single is a dance remix of Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop”—though he took the opportunity to play his new track, “Someone Like You,” during his hour-long opening set on Saturday night. He is blessedly a regular fixture on “Page Six.”
Né Elliot Tebele, he runs an Instagram account with 15.5 million followers called @FuckJerry, widely accused of stealing jokes from comedians and creators for years. But don’t worry, he also co-owns a small-batch tequila line called JAJA with his brother and … [Scooby-Doo mask reveal] The Chainsmokers. JAJA was one of the evening’s sponsors.
Anyone else notable there?
We’ve got Cuba Gooding Jr.—check him out fist-pumping courtesy of Hamptons.com—plus, according to the New York Post, a lesser Kennedy and, per Fortune, evil early Facebook brethren and Hamptons denizens the Winklevoss Twins.
What did the crowd look like?
Here's a photo from early on in the night:
And then a video from the vantage of the stage that was slightly less, uh, assuring:
What was the reaction?
The initial backlash consisted of people on social media pointing out how stupid it is to go to not just any concert in the midst of a pandemic but, especially, a Chainsmokers concert featuring the Goldman Sachs DJ. BuzzFeed reported that those in attendance and the event’s organizers are insisting that “everyone was social-distancing and being responsible,” wearing masks, and that they took guests’ temperatures. However, by Monday evening, New York governor Andrew Cuomo posted on Twitter that he was “appalled” by the “egregious social distancing violations” and that the Department of Health would be conducting an investigation. Per the New York Times, New York health commissioner Howard A. Zucker, sent a letter to Southampton town supervisor Jay Schneiderman stating, “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.”
What could the repercussions be?
I have reached out to a spokesperson for Governor Cuomo and will update this post when I know more. One guaranteed effect from this, though? A Cuomo Powerpoint slide reminding us that we ain't ever getting older, we ain't ever getting older...
Everything to know about this season's moldiest jam scandal.
Originally Appeared on GQ