• Imani Santos

The Chainsmokers' “Drive-In” Concert Currently Under Investigation

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

On July 25th the Chainsmokers held a charity drive-in concert in The Hamptons called “Safe & Sound. The show was produced by In The Know Experiences and presented by Jaja Tequila. The performance was one of the duo’s first performances of 2020 and the first since quarantine. The show also featured a performance by DJ D-Sol and Max White who opened for the Chainsmokers. The tickets ranged from about $850 to $2500, which is pretty pricey for a drive-in concert, but the proceeds were being raised for charities like: No Kid Hungry, Southampton Fresh Air Home, and the Children’s Medical Fund of NY.

Before online ticket purchases were made, each guest had to complete an online questionnaire related to Covid-19, and were to be given free face masks upon arrival and their temperatures by staff. It was also said that attendees would be given their own designated parking spots for 4-6 people at a time, and that bathrooms would be cleaned every 10 minutes. Around 2,000 people attended the concert on Saturday, and a video taken by someone on stage with the band posted via Twitter sparked up concern about the crowd gathered in front of the stage not being properly socially distanced. Many people started to question the potential health risks this type of event could cause and why the situation wasn’t controlled.

On Monday, the state of New York launched an investigation into the event with Governor Cuomo taking to Twitter to say: “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.” With the 2,000 people that attended the event, it clearly violated the state enforced rule that gatherings of 50 or more people are banned. Organizers claim that the videos on social media are misleading and that the vast majority of attendees followed the protocol given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of the attendees even backed up the organizers saying that they felt safe at the event and had an enjoyable time generally.

Questions about if the event was even authorized to take place are now coming up with Commissioner of Health, Dr. Howard A. Zucker wrote in a letter to town officials saying: “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.” There is no indication at the moment of who will be held responsible for the violations if the investigation finds that regulations had been indeed violated.

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