“The coronavirus crisis has taken a major toll on many families and individuals across the globe,” the page reads, “and we wanted to bring a new live event concept to life by giving communities a sense of celebration and closeness that they’ve been missing, in a safe and enjoyable way.”
That closeness seemed to manifest physically, judging by footage from the performance that circulated Monday on social media. In a video credited on Twitter to Disruptor Records founder Adam Alpert, who manages the Chainsmokers, hundreds of concertgoers can be seen standing in front of the stage, within six feet of one another. A screenshot of an Instagram story, again credited to Alpert, stated all 3,000 attendees had their temperatures checked and were confined to their designated tailgating areas — even though the image appeared to rebut the latter claim. (There were not many vehicles visible, either.)
“Y’all gonna risk it all for a chainsmokers dj set huh,” electronic music duo the Knocks tweeted.
“Fitting that The Chainsmokers are causing permanent lung damage,” comedy writer Jesse McLaren wrote.
“if joe biden wants to win my vote,” Vice contributor Trey Smith added, “he has to promise that he will once and for all do something about the chainsmokers.”
Alpert referred The Washington Post to a representative for In the Know Experiences and Invisible Noise, who shared a statement saying the concert had “followed the guidelines created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and made best efforts to ensure New York’s social distancing guidelines were properly maintained throughout the event.” Organizers also stated they asked concertgoers to self-monitor their temperatures daily in the two weeks leading up to the event and they hired local security to enforce the concert’s mask policy.
The New York State Department of Health announced Monday an investigation into whether the event violated orders set in place by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to curb the spread of covid-19. In a letter shared with The Post, Zucker asked Schneiderman, the Southampton town supervisor, to provide the department with additional details about the permits secured for the concert, including whether they were consistent with covid-19 regulations.
“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, adding: “What town officials were at the concert and why was it allowed to continue when it became clear violations were rampant?”
Ticket prices for the concert ranged from $1,250 to $25,000, per Billboard, with all profits donated to charities including No Kid Hungry, the Children’s Medical Fund of New York and the Southampton Fresh Air Home. In a recent interview with Hamptons magazine, Chainsmokers members Alex Pall and Drew Taggart talked about getting their start in the area. Taggart said they “have always supported the causes that felt closest to home, and we have always tried to use our platform and our audience to help those suffering around the world.”
In late February, the Chainsmokers shared a statement on Instagram announcing they would be taking a break from public appearances and social media to focus on their music. They cleared the remainder of their posts, which Pall and Taggart did on their personal accounts as well. The Saturday concert was one of their first public performances this year.