A Hamptons concert by The Chainsmokers where fans allegedly flouted social distancing guidelines is being investigated by Gov. Cuomo’s office and has been slammed by the state health commissioner who’s demanding answers, Page Six has learned.
The Water Mill charity drive-in show on Saturday had drive-in parking spots that reportedly went for up to $25,000 a pop, and featured a performance by DJ duo The Chainsmokers, as well as opening acts including Southampton’s Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman’s band and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon (a k a DJ D-Sol). The event was meant to have “safe zones” for cars with up to six people. But viral social media posts seemed to show gaggles of fans leaving their cars and gathering in front of the stage without masks.
State health commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker on Monday sent a letter to Schneiderman seen by Page Six which said: “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.”
The letter further fumed, “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 answers within 24 hours from Schneiderman regarding the event’s permitting, security, and “What town officials were at the concert and why was it 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.”
Organizers of the show have so far publicly said that the event followed CDC guidelines.
Schneiderman told us his office will have responded to the questions by the end of day Tuesday, and, “This was a charitable event… I am as upset as anyone else.” He said his office is also investigating, and that the permits granted did not include a VIP area, but only parking spaces for cars and small areas for people around them.
Meantime, sources also told Page Six that there was a wild after party at a private house in Amagansett for around 200 after the concert. Witnesses said there was a huge line outside the bash, telling us, “The Chainsmokers were there and people were dying to get in. The line was crazy [with] hoards of people. The police apparently showed up three times.” But a source told us of The Chainsmokers at the bash: “They went to a friend’s house after for about 10 minutes outside.”
Another source said that during the show, “there was definitely a section of people in front of the cars that did not adhere to social distancing. But you could really be safe there if you were smart enough and mature enough to do it. You could go from your car and then have your square [of space] and have no contact. I think the intentions were good, but there is no way you can control those kids who feel immortal.”
Event organizers, In The Know Experiences and Invisible Noise, told us 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.”
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