The promoter of a summer concert that drew thousands of people amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been fined $20,000 by the state.
The Department of Health has charged "In the Know Experiences," the concert promoter of the July concert held on Long Island in the Hamptons, featuring the band the Chainsmokers with violating the Public Health Law and is seeking the $20,000 in fines for holding a non-essential gathering and failure to enforce mask-wearing.
On Saturday, July 25, "In the Know Experiences" held the "Safe and Sound Concert Series" featuring the Chainsmokers at Nova's Ark Project in Water Mill.
The Town of Southampton issued the promoter a special event permit for the concert after its review of the promoter's Special Events Application, which stated numerous measures "that ostensibly would be taken to protect against COVID-19. "
Critically, the promoter's Special Events Application omitted reference to a designated "friends and family" section where concertgoers could freely congregate and where mask-wearing was not enforced.
Based on a thorough DOH investigation, more than 2,150 concertgoers attended the event, exceeding the maximum number allowable per the permit.
In addition, the event was not held in accordance with other safety measures outlined in the permit application and promotional materials and created conditions that increased the risk of spreading COVID-19 in New York, the health department said.
"We have worked too hard throughout this pandemic to keep infection rates low utilizing proven public health measures, and we must ensure that they stay in place," New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said. "If they do not, enforcement is always an option. We will take whatever measures we can to protect the public health of all New Yorkers."
This aggressive action against "In the Know Experiences" mirrors other State actions, including the State Liquor Authority and State Police Task Force visits to establishments to assess and enforce compliance.
"As I said immediately following reports of this event," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, "it was an egregious violation of the critical public health measures we have had in place since the beginning of this pandemic to protect New Yorkers from COVID-19.
"We will continue to hold people and businesses accountable for their actions and the local governments must enforce the rules or else we will hold them accountable as well."
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