This Awful-Sounding Chainsmokers Concert Is Exactly What Shouldn't Happen Right Now

Governor Andrew Cuomo was "appalled" by the lack of social-distancing at Saturday's event, which also featured a DJ set from the CEO of Goldman Sachs.

Andrew Taggart of The Chainsmokers performing onstage | Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Safe & Sound
Andrew Taggart of The Chainsmokers performing onstage | Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Safe & Sound

On Saturday night, obnoxious EDM duo The Chainsmokers, the hard-partying pair behind songs like 2014's "#Selfie" and 2016's chart-topper "Closer" featuring Halsey, played a "drive-in" benefit concert in the Hamptons during a worldwide pandemic. If that doesn't sound dystopian enough, the event was also presented by Instagram-famous marketing agency (that also had a hand in promoting the disastrous Fyre Fest) FuckJerry’s small-batch tequila brand, Jaja, which The Chainsmokers are reportedly "the biggest non-founder stakeholders in." The opening act was DJ D-Sol, the musical alter-ego of Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon. According to Billboard, tickets cost up to $25,000. 

As you might imagine, the event, promoted as part of a "Safe and Sound" concert series, drew some less than favorable attention on social media, particularly after videos of concert-goers vacating their cars and chilling out to their favorite Chainsmokers songs went viral. Maybe they were just huge DJ D-Sol stans. 

While the company that organized the event, In the Know Experience, told Buzzfeed that social distancing policies were enforced, and a handful concert-goers said they felt "very safe," some of the viral footage suggests attending the concert wasn't the best idea. In fact, it feels safe to call the whole thing very, very dumb. If you absolutely have to see The Chainsmokers, maybe at least wait until there's a vaccine available. 

The event quickly drew the ire of New York’s health commissioner, Howard A. Zucker, who said he was "greatly disturbed" by reports of what went on out in the Hamptons. On Monday night, Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted that he was "appalled" and vowed to look into the matter. "The Department of Health will conduct an investigation," he wrote. "We have no tolerance for the illegal and reckless endangerment of public health."

A photo of a promotional pamphlet, which also reveals that the event was presented "in partnership with Bumble," indicates that there were plans to hold similar concerts in Miami, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Nashville, and Chicago. After the controversy surrounding the New York benefit show, it's hard to imagine The Chainsmokers won't at least tinker with the set-up a bit. Everyone misses live music and no one wants to watch virtual Zoom performances online forever, but there has to be a better, less bleak way to do it -- hopefully one that doesn't involve a DJ set from a mega-rich banker. 

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Dan Jackson is a senior staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. He's on Twitter @danielvjackson.