Thousands of mostly maskless concertgoers crowded together for a hardcore show in Manhattan’s Tompkins Square Park over the weekend—after the event’s organizer told city officials he was hosting a political rally with 100 people, PIX11 reports. According to the outlet, the permit holder for the massive outdoor concert originally told the Parks Department he was hosting a “September 11 Memorial” event, describing it as a “political rally with music and speakers.” An updated application called it a “rally/concert,” with 100 people expected to attend. Instead, more than 2,000 people showed up, packing the park in clear violation of the city’s coronavirus guidelines. The Parks Department told The Daily Beast that it is moving to revoke all of the organizer’s permits “based on the myriad of violations including misrepresenting their event as a political rally for 100 people.” The event violated Mayor Bill de Blasio’s executive order prohibiting more than 200 people to gather outdoors, as well as social distancing and mask guidelines. The department added that the organizers also violated park rules by bringing at least one vehicle into the park and having a stage.
An organizer of the concert, Shadow Press, denied misrepresenting the concert as a 9/11-related event. “On November 2, 2020, we applied for eight ‘special event’ permits in Tompkins Square Park with the Parks Dept for 2021. One permit was for September 11, 2021 that was to be a ‘September 11 Memorial,’” they said. “Subsequent to our applying, we were informed that September 11, 2021 was being given to another person. We were offered April 24, 2021 as an alternative date and we accepted. The new event name for April 24 was entered by the Parks Dept as ‘Rally/Concert.’”
John Joseph, the frontman of Bloodclot, which performed at the event, wrote online: “For the last year in NYC there were protests—tens and thousands of people in the streets—some rioting and looting engaging in bias attacks—on 4/20 weed day—thousands filled Washington Square Park —sharing blunts and weed pipes. Nobody said shit. This was our PROTEST —OUR RALLY.” He added that the concert raised money for the New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation.
Editor’s Note: This has been updated to reflect that while the organizers listed their event as a “September 11 Memorial” event on the original permit application, the updated permit described it as a “rally/concert.”