'Illegal & Reckless': Cuomo Slams Chainsmokers Concert That Drew Thousands In The Hamptons

Sophia Hall
July 28, 2020 - 4:44 pm

    SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was "appalled" after seeing videos of crowds violating social distancing rules at a drive-in concert in the Hamptons over the weekend that drew as many as 3,000 people and 500 cars.

    The charity event Saturday night in Water Mill in Southampton was headlined by The Chainsmokers and also featured a DJ set by Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, who called himself DJ D-Sol, and a performance by Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman's band.

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    Cuomo said video from the concert shows what he calls "egregious social distancing violations." 

    "We have no tolerance for the illegal & reckless endangerment of public health," Cuomo tweeted.

    The governor said both criminal charges and civil fines are possible as the state's health department launches an investigation.

    "The Town of Southampton is going to have a problem, I don't know how they approved that permit. The promoters are going to have a problem, while it was going on there wasn't a response by law enforcement," Cuomo said. "The gross violation of not only the public health rules, it was a gross violation of common sense. It was grossly disrespectful to fellow New Yorkers."

    Related: Cops Spend 5 Hours Breaking Up Party Of 700 People In NJ

    The Chainsmokers
    Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for Hamptons Magazine

    In a letter to the town supervisor, State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “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.”

    Schneiderman told the New York Post that he believes the conditions of the permit were violated and the town will conduct its own investigation.

    Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said he was very concerned by what he saw.

    "You definitely want to see an event where you're raising money for charity, where there's an outlet for people to do something and to enjoy an outdoor activity, but you want to do it in a way that's not going to create a situation like we saw there and so we need to learn lessons from this and moving forward make adjustments," Bellone told WCBS 880's Sophia Hall.

    Bellone said the numbers of coronavirus cases are down in the county, but warned that could change quickly if people do not follow safety guidelines. 

    In a statement, the concert's organizers say the videos circulating on social media are misleading and that safety protocols were put in place, including conducting temperature checks and handing out 4,000 masks for free.

    "We collaborated with all state and local health officials to keep everyone safe, create awareness for local businesses, provide work to over 350 people who have been unemployed as a result of the pandemic and to bring some joy into people’s lives during these difficult times," In The Know Experiences and Invisible Noise said. "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 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 event raised money for No Kid Hungry, Southampton Fresh Air Home and Children’s Medical Fund of New York. Tickets went for up to $25,000.


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