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Organizers of crowded concert issued 'notice of violation' by Southampton Town

Some concertgoers stand at a VIP area during

Some concertgoers stand at a VIP area during The Chainsmokers' drive-in concert at Nova's Ark Project in Water Mill on July 25. Credit: SocietyAllure.com / Rob Rich

The Town of Southampton has confirmed it issued a "notice of violation" to the organizers of a July 25 Chainsmokers concert attended by as many as 3,000 people at Nova's Ark Project in Water Mill, where video showed some concertgoers failing to adhere to coronavirus mitigation regulations.

Southampton code compliance and emergency management administrator Ryan Murphy confirmed the violation in a Friday morning email to Newsday.

"A notice of violation was issued to the event organizers for the concert. The violation notice covers multiple issues," Murphy said. "There is an ongoing investigation so I cannot provide any other information at this time."

The drive-in concert, whose carload ticket prices ranged from several hundred dollars to $25,000 to rent a 10-person RV, was organized by In the Know Experiences and Invisible Noise. Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman performed drums in the opening act at the show, which was headlined by the pop/electronic duo The Chainsmokers.

Though event guests were instructed not to leave their own 20-by-20-foot area around their vehicles except to use the restroom, and though photos and video posted from the event showed many wore appropriate COVID-19 mandated masks, Schneiderman told Newsday last week the organizers violated the permit by allowing an estimated 200 people to congregate in a VIP section.

The situation drew the ire of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last week, with the governor vowing a state Department of Health investigation into the circumstances and alleged violations.

As part of that investigation state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker sent a formal letter of inquiry to Schneiderman, though officials, including local police, have not commented on the investigation other than to say that it is ongoing.

“We take very seriously the safety and health of our guests," Robert Leonard, a spokesman for the concert producers, said in an email Friday. "We agree with Governor Cuomo and State Health Commissioner Zucker that compliance at this time is critical to the health of our neighbors and friends — and our communities and state — and we took multiple precautions to ensure that we were doing so. We are working with government to provide any information that is needed to satisfy any inquiries.”

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