New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday called for an investigation into a charity concert that drew a packed crowd of partiers in the tony beach village of Southampton this past weekend.
“It wasn’t just a gross violation of public health rules. It was a gross violation of common sense,” Cuomo said during a press conference call. “We’re taking that very seriously.”
Cuomo said the town of Southampton could face penalties for violating public safety measures. He said the village leadership will be involved in the inquiry by the New York State Department of Health.
“This is a law. There are civil penalties. There are criminal penalties,” he said. “The town of Southampton is going to have a problem. I don’t know how they approved that permit.”
Cuomo urged local governments to step up and “do their job.” Many bars and restaurants in New York City are continuing to receive citations for violating the state’s coronavirus measures, according to the governor. On Monday, 26 citations were issued in Manhattan and 16 in Queens, he said.
“I need the NYPD to do a better job in New York City,” he said.
The event quickly came under fire after video footage on social media showed crowds of people not social distancing, wearing masks or following public health measures.
According to the event description, the concert was “designed to maximize social distancing.” All venue staff were required to wear masks and attendees were encouraged to wear masks when going to restrooms.
The tailgate area allowed up to 600 vehicles, and guests weren’t allowed to leave their designated area unless using a restroom. The event also restricted each vehicle to hold a maximum of four guests in a sedan and six in a SUV.
The organizers said in a statement they adhered to all state and local health mandates, and the concert followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines.
Goldman Sachs released a statement Tuesday saying that Solomon “agreed to participate in an event for charity in which the organizers worked closely with the local government and put strict health protocols in place.” The company said Solomon performed early and left before the show ended.
“The vast majority of the audience appeared to follow the rules, but he’s troubled that some violated them and put themselves and others at risk,” the investment bank said in a statement.