Last weekend, The Chainsmokers headlined an outdoor concert in Southampton, New York called "Safe & Sound." The event quickly became infamous after footage emerged of the audience packed in close together during the EDM duo's set, a huge faux-pas during a global pandemic (the notoriety wasn't helped by the exorbitant ticket prices, or the fact that the opening act was the Goldman Sachs CEO David Soloman a.k.a. DJ D-Sol).
Yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was "appalled" by the concert, and the state's Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said in a letter that "Safe & Sound" was "an obvious public health threat." Today, Zucker expounded on his thoughts in a letter published by Rolling Stone. "[T]he recent “Safe & Sound” Chainsmokers charity concert in Southampton mocks New Yorkers’ months-long work to flatten the curve and contain the virus," Zucker wrote.
After calling the event "an illegal and reckless endangerment of public health," Zucker reiterated New State's promise to investigate the "Safe & Sound" concert, and chastized its organizers and wealthy attendees for their perceived selfishness: "[W]hen this disease spreads, it is more devastating to people who are not young and healthy. It is more devastating to people who cannot afford $850 tickets to a charity event — namely, working minority populations in underserved communities whom we have seen to be at heightened risk for infection, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19."
Despite the threat that the event poses of undoing New York's "months-long work to flatten the curve and contain the virus," Zucker concluded his letter on an optimistic note: "We are now ahead of the virus rather than catching up behind it, and we are determined not to lose this advantage as we work to keep all New Yorkers safe."
The organizers of "Safe & Sound," In the Know Experiences and Invisible Noise, said in a statement to Billboard that proper safety precautions were taken. “We did everything in our power to enforce New York’s social distancing guidelines and collaborated with all state and local health officials to keep everyone safe," they wrote, pointing to the event's sanitization stations, mandatory temperature checks for all attendees, and more.