The concert at Water Mill sold ticket packages starting at $ 850. VIP access cost up to $ 25,000 and included an RV. The event’s website said all proceeds will go to local and national charities.
It is estimated that 2,000 people attended the concert on Saturday. And while many Chainsmokers fans have bragged on social media about their unique and exclusive concert experience, a video originally taken by someone on stage with the band and then shared on Twitter has people concerned. by the potential health risks that an event of this magnitude could pose. .
Specifically, people fear that a crowd gathered in what appeared to be a section of wells was not properly socially distanced. Photos on social media on the ground showed widespread distancing between people partying on or near their cars in their designated lots, but photos taken from the pit at night do not clearly show where and how the crowds were controlled.
In the Know experience, one of the main organizers of the event, said that there were dividers separating the individual parties in this disputed pit area, and that “the guests were also informed that they were not would not be allowed to leave the designated locations for any reason. than using the toilet. “
A representative from the venue also provided BuzzFeed News with images taken inside the pit that showed where black retractable belts were being used to attempt to tie groups of 10 fans at a time.
“There were steel barricades and dividers separating each section in the front viewing area with groups of ten guests, with marked places to stay inside and security guards positioned in front to enforce masks.” , said the representative.
Three people who attended the Chainsmokers concert on Saturday confirmed seeing some sort of barrier or restrictive boundary inside the pit.
“Everyone was socially left behind and responsible,” said Jamie Books, a Southampton resident. “We had a great time and hope to see more events like this,” she added.
Those who couldn’t see into the pit, but were partying above their cars, said they “felt very safe” attending the concert.
“There were a ton of security guards to make sure people didn’t leave their designated areas,” added Sierra Smith, another onlooker. ” [I] I felt very safe and it was a lot of fun. ”
Additionally, the representative for In the Know Experiences told BuzzFeed News that they “have worked with all state and local health officials to keep everyone safe.”
BuzzFeed News has contacted the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.
The representative and at least five spectators said everyone was required to have their temperature checked upon entering the drive-in, and that hand sanitizer and masks were readily available.
“The event organizers followed all appropriate and current protocols,” they said, adding that public bathrooms were also cleaned every 10 minutes.
Still, the special Chainsmokers concert that takes place amid an increase in COVID-19 cases in the United States has critics ridiculing attendees for risking the health of other people, as well as their own.
Despite numerous testimonies from those who attended on Saturday insisting that all proper protocols were taken and that they would like to attend another big party / concert, experts warn against this. A mass congregation like this is “really hard to have it in a safe way,” said Amesh Adalja, infectious disease physician and senior researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
“Anytime you have a mass gathering you have to worry about the spread of the virus. I think a drive-through will decrease the risk… but there will never be zero risk, ”Adalja told BuzzFeed News. “At a concert, people are going to scream and sing and create massive droplets, so it’s going to be a challenge. ”
“A general mass rally is not advisable in this environment,” Adalja added, but he believes that if “aggressive social distancing” measures are applied, it can be done in a safer manner.
“If you’re doing it in Miami, it’s probably not a good idea,” he added, noting the recent alarming increase in cases in Florida.
Brochures circulating on social media announcing the first Hamptons show from The Chainsmokers listed “other big cities to come,” including Miami. But the representative of the concert hall company could not say if these other cities were still confirmed.
People online are tweeting directly to the site, begging them in anticipation to cancel potential stops on the Chainsmokers tour during the pandemic.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to the group for comment.