Longstanding hardcore band Madball headlined a gig to an audience of “well over 2000” in New York last week, with organisers now under investigation for breaching coronavirus restrictions.
The city’s current rules allow for indoor spaces to host gigs at 33 per cent capacity or up to 100 people, and 200 people outdoors. Capacity can increase to 150 and 500 respectively providing all attendees present proof of a negative coronavirus test.
“This matter is actively being investigated as the permit application filed and agreement appear to have been violated — future permits are in jeopardy,” a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation told Gothamist.
Madball’s show, which took place on April 26 at Tompkins Square Park, was free to attend, with gig-goers encouraged to donate to a crowfunder for New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation. It was organised by promoters Black N’ Blue Productions.
The line-up also included Murphy’s Law, The Capturers, and Bloodclot, the project of former Cro-Mags frontman John Joseph.
Posting about the gig on Instagram, Joseph defended the concert by apparently comparing it to recent protests for racial equality in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.
“Yesterday in Tompkins Square Park History was Made. Well over 2000 people came out to a FREE show by the people for the people,” he said.
He added: “And let me say this to all the chumps and beeotch’s talking shit. For the last year in New York City there were protests – tens and thousands of people in the streets – some rioting and looting engaging in bias attacks – nobody said shit – the media condoned it.
“On 4/20 thousands filled Washington Square Park sharing blunts and weed pipes no masks – again nobody said shit. This was our fucking protest – this was our rally – people came out from all over the country and enjoyed live music!
“Those who didn’t want to come stayed away – good nobody Missed their ass. They were free to live in fear – hide under their table and talk shit on social media.”
During the concert, Murphy’s Law were joined by Springa, the former frontman of Boston band SSD, who wore a shirt with ‘BLACK FLAG MATTERS’ written on it. The clothing has caused yet more criticism to be levelled at the show.
imagine waking up less than a week after george floyd's killer was sentenced to prison and a 16 year old black girl was murdered by police and deciding to wear a "BLACK FLAG MATTERS" shirt to perform in front of a predominately white crowd pic.twitter.com/CsQVfsDRTI
— kate bush's husband (@airbagged) April 25, 2021
“imagine waking up less than a week after george floyd’s killer was sentenced to prison and a 16 year old black girl was murdered by police and deciding to wear a “BLACK FLAG MATTERS” shirt to perform in front of a predominately white crowd,” wrote one Twitter user.
Earlier today, meanwhile, a show in Spain attended by 5,000 people was found not to have caused a spike in infections. However, attendees for that gig were required to take a coronavirus test and to wear masks.