Southampton Town officials may be issuing a series of citations for code violations to the organizers of last month’s Chainsmokers concert. Or, they may not.
Ryan Murphy, the head of the town’s code enforcement division, confirmed Monday that his department had issued a notice of violation to the company that organized the July 25 event, In the Know Experiences. It contained a list of possible code violations that may have occurred, including violations of the terms of the permit the town issued. However, Murphy cautioned, that notice of violation should not be construed as an actual citation.
Whether or not an actual summons is to be issued is still under investigation, Murphy said.
The drive-in concert, staged at Nova’s Ark Project in Bridgehampton, drew the ire of New York State officials, including Governor Andrew Cuomo and State Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker. A video went viral showing what appeared to be a group of about 200 people crowded together in front of the stage, ignoring the state’s social distancing guidelines.
Zucker sent a caustic letter to Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, in which he wrote that the charity concert “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 guidance.”
Cuomo had said, “The concert that happened in the Town of Southampton was just a gross violation of not only the public health rules, it was a gross violation of common sense.”
Schneiderman said that the problem came about because, between 10 and 10:30 p.m., a group of people moved to a VIP area by the stage that was not part of the town’s approved permit for the drive-in concert, which was a fundraiser.
Schneiderman, who had participated in the concert onstage as the drummer in one of the early warmup acts, said that he had left the site before the alleged violations occurred, and called for an investigation of the incident by both the police and by the town’s code enforcement division.
A company handling the public relations for the organizers did not return a request for comment. The organizers had previously defended the concert and said efforts were made to ensure social distancing.