The sun sets at the first Safe & Sound drive-in concert in Southampton, N.Y. on July 25. Bloomberg photo by Amanda Gordon

A concert in New York on Saturday headlined by The Chainsmokers – a pop duo featuring Freeport native Drew Taggart – will be investigated by state officials there for possible social-distancing and health violations.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a post on Twitter Monday that his state’s department of health would conduct an investigation into the drive-in charity concert, called Safe & Sound, held at a 100-acre outdoor sculpture park in the town of Southampton, on Long Island.

Cuomo said he was “appalled” after seeing videos from the concert that showed “egregious social distancing violations,” including the crowd of people standing very close together.

“We have no tolerance for the illegal & reckless endangerment of public health,” Cuomo wrote on Twitter.

The investigation was first reported in a story Monday by the New York Times, which referenced an angry letter sent by New York’s health commissioner, Howard A. Zucker, to the supervisor of the town of Southampton. In the letter, Zucker said he was “at a loss” as to how the town could have issued a permit for the event and believe that it was not “an obvious public health threat.”

Event organizers, In The Know Experiences and Invisible Noise, said in an emailed statement to the Times they had followed “all proper and current protocols” and said audience members were repeatedly told not to leave their designated areas, spaced 6 feet apart, unless they needed to use a restroom.


Freeport native Drew Taggart, at microphone, presenting a Grammy Award in 2017 with Katharine McPhee and Alex Pall. Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Neither Taggart nor anyone from Disruptor Records, The Chainsmokers’ label, immediately responded to emails Tuesday asking for more details on the concert.

Taggart, a 2008 graduate of Freeport High School, formed The Chainsmokers with Alex Pall and began getting national attention in 2014 with the song and video “#Selfie.” The duo became pop stars a year or two later. In 2016, their song “Closer” – featuring the singer Halsey – reached No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart. Several of their others songs have reached the top 10, including “Roses,” “Don’t Let Me Down” and “Paris.”

The Southampton concert was a benefit for several charities including the Southampton Fresh Air Fund, No Kid Hungry and Children’s Medical Fund of New York, according to the event website. The event’s stated capacity was to be 600 vehicles, according to the website, with each vehicle assigned a space for its passengers to stand or sit in. Masks were required for anyone leaving their designated area.

The event had been well-publicized, including in a July 14 story posted on the Billboard magazine website, which explained the social distancing rules and the fact that tickets ranged from $1,250 to $25,000. Besides The Chainsmokers, other performers included Goldman Sachs CEO David M. Solomon, also known as D.J. D-Sol, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman Band and singer-songwriter Matt White, according to the event website.

Goldman Sachs chief David Solomon appears on stage as DJ D-Sol at the first Safe & Sound drive-in concert in Southampton, N.Y., on July 25. Bloomberg photo by Amanda Gordon

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