‘Appalled’ New York governor to investigate crowded Chainsmokers concert

FILE - In this April 19, 2018 file photo, Andrew Taggart, of The Chainsmokers, performs
FILE - In this April 19, 2018 file photo, Andrew Taggart, of The Chainsmokers, performs "Sick Boy" at WE Day California at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. New York's governor says he is "appalled" by videos showing crowds standing close together at a Hamptons concert featuring The Chainsmokers over the weekend. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state Department of Health will conduct an investigation into "egregious social distancing violations." The Saturday night concert on July 25, 2020, was billed as a charity drive-in show called "Safe & Sound" where Goldman Sachs' CEO and the Southampton town supervisor also performed. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

New York’s governor has said he is “appalled” by videos showing crowds standing close together at a Hamptons concert featuring electronic music duo The Chainsmokers over the weekend.

Andrew Cuomo said the state’s department of health will conduct an investigation into “egregious social distancing violations”.

Mr Cuomo warned that violations of public health law can result in civil fines and a potential for criminal liability.

In a Monday night tweet, the state governor said: “We have no tolerance for the illegal reckless endangerment of public health.”

The Saturday night concert – called “Safe & Sound” – was billed as a charity drive-in show in Southampton where Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon and Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman’s band also performed.

Mr Cuomo shared a social media video, which has more than six million views, that showed crowds of people standing and swaying near the stage.

The video shows attendees who appeared to be wearing masks, but many individuals were standing closer than two metres.

Mr Cuomo questioned why local law enforcement did not break this up, saying it was “out of control and all the rules were being violated”.

He said the state’s investigation will look at the role of local leaders and reports of “ongoing” violations in the village of Southampton.

The concert’s organisers, In the Know Experiences and Invisible Noise, defended their efforts to follow social distancing protocols in a statement.

Event staff took the temperatures of attendees as they arrived in cars, parked in designated spots and were instructed to wear complimentary face masks at all times except in restrooms.

The organisers said staffers reminded attendees of the rules every 30 minutes from the main stage, while security guards patrolled to enforce protocols.

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