New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office is investigating a Chainsmokers concert in the Hamptons that took place over the weekend and seemingly flouted social distancing guidelines, according to Page Six. The Water Mill charity drive-in show Saturday featured drive-in parking spots going for up to $25,000, and featured performances not only by The Chainsmokers, but also by opening acts by Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman’s band and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, who goes by DJ D-Sol.
While the event was originally advertised as having safe social distancing zones for cars with up to six people, photos and videos on social media appeared to show masses of unmasked people gathering in front of the stage and straying from their cars. State health commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker on Monday sent a letter to Schneiderman obtained by Page Six. "I am greatly disturbed by reports concerning the ‘drive-in’ concert held in your town this past weekend, which apparently involved thousands of people in close proximity, out of their vehicles, a VIP area where there was no pretense of a vehicle, and generally not adhering to social distancing guidance," Zucker wrote. "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 demanded a response within one day about the event's permit and security measures, as well as what town officials attended and how the concert was allowed to continue when "it became clear violations were rampant?" He added, "Please be advised that all responses to these questions are a submission to a state department conducting an investigation, and any submission will be deemed to be a sworn statement."
The show's organizers have publicly defended the event as following guidelines set up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Schneiderman told Page Six, "This was a charitable event… I am as upset as anyone else." Event organizers In The Know Experiences and Invisible Noise told the outlet in a statement, "The Safe & Sound drive-in concert fundraiser 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." The Chainsmokers have yet to issue a public statement about their role in the event, last posting on social media in February that they would be taking time to "create our next chapter in music."