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Sag Harbor Concert Shut Down for Overcrowding

Tue, 09/15/2020 - 13:32

An outdoor concert at Marine Park in Sag Harbor on Saturday evening had to be shut down due to overcrowding. 

The HooDoo Loungers and Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks were the featured acts at the event, which was part of a series of concerts held by WLNG Radio. And at one point during the HooDoo Loungers set, Sag Harbor Police Lt. Robert Drake counted 175 people in attendance, Mayor Kathleen Mulcahy said on Monday. That is more than triple the number of people allowed at outdoor gatherings under an executive order issued by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Although WLNG's earlier concerts had been held safely, Ms. Mulcahy said, on Saturday, "It was too nice of a day, and too good of a band -- it was the perfect storm." 

Cones had been set up in the park to help people maintain social distancing, but crowds gathered around them. "There were 10 to 15 people next to a cone," said Ms. Mulcahy, who had been in attendance because "the Lone Sharks are my favorite band."

At first, Bill Evans, WLNG's program director, had asked for people to voluntarily leave, and some, including Ms. Mulcahy and her friends, did so, but an overabundance of people remained. 

The HooDoo Loungers had been scheduled to perform for two hours, but at about the one-and-a-half-hour mark, Lieutenant Drake decided the concert had to be shut down -- before Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks had even taken the stage -- because there was no way to ensure that enough people could be dispersed, or that new crowds wouldn't arrive. 

Ms. Mulcahy said quarantine fatigue, that is, the desire to get out of the house and have something fun to do, was the reason the event got out of hand. "It's not a Sag Harbor thing, it's a Covid thing, we're all trying to figure this out as we go along, and there are no easy answers."

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