Report: NYC Bans Promoter of Packed Park Punk Gig — Permit Was For 9/11 Memorial
New York City Department of Parks and Recreation has reportedly banned punk shows in the city's parks arranged by the promoter behind this month's overpacked outdoor concert in Tompkins Square Park. After that gig raised concerns for violating the state's COVID-19 capacity restrictions and safety guidelines, the city is "moving to revoke all permits for this organizer and related future events."
According to Gothamist, the April 24 concert that hosted performances from NYC hardcore acts Madball, Murphy's Law and others, was legally permitted by the city. However, specifics have now emerged that appear to show the original permit application, submitted by the show's organizer, Black N' Blue Productions, listed the event as a "September 11 Memorial." Gothamist has a purported image of the application.
Through social media, Black N' Blue Productions denied that detail. On Instagram on Monday (April 26), the outfit stated, "I'm sure most people know the media lies almost all the time. But just for shits and giggles, the permit says nothing about 911 Memorial on it! I have the permit in my hand. Fucking asshats. Had [to] look at it again to make sure, but there's nothing on it that says 911 Memorial."
Per the above report, the permit application for "September 11 Memorial" was submitted on Nov. 2, 2020, by an organizer named Chris Parker, with whom the parks department had evidently cooperated in some capacity for several years. The description for the event reportedly called it a "political rally with speakers and music." Earlier this year, the date was changed to April 24, but the name and description were not.
The concert last week was a free, unticketed event, as well as what appears to have been the first major outdoor concert to take place in the park since the pandemic started. Black N' Blue Productions' Joe Cammarata held a pre-show fundraiser for the New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation on GoFundMe, where he helped raise over $6,000 in donations.
Still, as illustrated in Gothamist's original report on the concert, "several of the state's COVID safety guidelines were not followed during the show. There was no social distancing happening during a show that featured tons on moshing, and no distance between the performers and the audience. There also clearly were a lot of people not wearing masks."
An estimated 2,000-3,000 people attended the event. New York City's current guidance on large groups states that, as of March 22, social gatherings in public spaces, previously limited to 50 people, can't exceed 100 people indoors or anywhere from 200 to 500 people outdoors.
The city has reportedly claimed that other details of the event were misrepresented, including that organizers originally stated only 100 people would attend. Those who oversee Tompkins Square Park "generally would not permit an event of this size," even when a pandemic isn't a concern, the parks department relayed.