Coronavirus pandemic

NY to probe concert with Goldman CEO

NEW YORK • The New York health authorities will investigate a Hamptons charity concert opened by Goldman Sachs chief David Solomon and headlined by The Chainsmokers after footage showed crowds of partygoers.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was appalled by "egregious social distancing violations" seen in videos of last Saturday night's event in Southampton. "We have no tolerance for the illegal and reckless endangerment of public health," Mr Cuomo said, noting that the Department of Health will lead the inquiry.

The event was held in a field and billed as the "Safe & Sound drive-in concert" with attendees expected to enjoy the music by their cars and in designated spots.

About 2,000 people turned up for the show which was opened by Goldman's chief executive officer, who moonlights as DJ D-Sol, and electronic dance music duo The Chainsmokers as the main act.

Videos shared by revellers appeared to show groups gathering near the stage. Some concertgoers without masks congregated outside cars to party with friends.

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman was one of the performers, and Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren was emcee. A representative for the organisers declined to comment.

New York was once the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States before it eased there and spread to other regions. Officials have been cautiously reopening the state.

The organisers had pledged to abide by local and state health standards. They set up temperature checks, arranged for crews to clean portable toilets every 10 minutes and made frequent announcements about wearing masks.

About 500 cars were parked in spots that cost up to US$25,000 (S$34,500), with the top tier including an air-conditioned recreational vehicle and private bathroom.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2020, with the headline 'NY to probe concert with Goldman CEO'. Print Edition | Subscribe