NY Health Dept. Will Investigate Chainsmokers’ Dicey Hamptons Concert For FuckJerry Tequila
Over the weekend, the Chainsmokers performed a concert in the Hamptons — it even had a title, “Safe & Sound.” It was presented by FuckJerry’s JAJA tequila brand (of which Chainsmokers are co-owners), and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon provided an opening DJ set. Yet while this entire setup might seem pretty dubious from the start — even without, you know, the ongoing pandemic — the concert at least had some good intentions. Admission cost between $1,250 and $25,000, with all profits going to charities including No Kid Hungry, Children’s Medical Fund Of NY, and Southampton Fresh Air Home. But that doesn’t mean the concert didn’t still attract its fair bit of controversy.
On the surface, the Chainsmokers’ gig followed all the usual coronavirus era safety protocols we’ve now grown accustomed to when you hear about attempts at large-scale gatherings like this. It was, nominally at least, a drive-in concert at which attendees had their temperatures checked upon entry and where free masks were distributed. Concertgoers were instructed not to leave their allotted space unless they were going to use the restroom, and social distancing reminders were supposedly issued repeatedly throughout the night. Nevertheless, as videos began to circulate on social media, it certainly looked like the concert was not all that safe given our current circumstances, with what appeared to be crowds congregating closer to the stage.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo shared one of those videos on Twitter, writing “Videos from a concert held in Southampton on Saturday show egregious social distancing violations. I am appalled. The Department of Health will conduct an investigation. We have no tolerance for the illegal & reckless endangerment of public health.”
After the initial backlash, the concert’s promoters issued a statement to Billboard defending the event. In The Know Experiences produced the show with Invisible, and here’s what the luxury travel and lifestyle agency had to say:
When we decided to produce this Drive-In Concert Fundraiser, our goal was to bring some joy into people’s lives during these difficult times, and do it in the safest possible environment. We also wanted to give back to these important charities, create awareness for these local businesses and provide work to over 350 people who have been unemployed as a result of the pandemic.
The video that everyone is talking about was taken from an angle that doesn’t properly convey how careful we were to follow the guidelines created by the CDC. We did everything in our power to enforce New York’s social distancing guidelines and collaborated with all state and local health officials to keep everyone safe.
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. Announcements and reminders were made every 30 minutes from the main stage, and security guards regularly patrolled the area to encourage mask wearing and promote social distancing guidelines.
We followed all proper and current protocol, including spacing each spot more than six feet apart, positioning sanitizing stations throughout the open grounds, temperature checks for all attendees, sanitization of restrooms every 10 minutes, local security enforcing guests to wear their masks both in and out of their designated areas, contact tracing, clearly marked parking zones, as well as providing complimentary face masks upon arrival.
You can check out more footage of the performance and judge for yourself below but… yeah people look pretty damn close at this thing.