UPDATE: In a statement shared with Pitchfork, Pictureplane, one of the DJs who performed at the rave, admitted that he didn’t “think it was worth the risk.” The DJ/producer (who’s real name is Travis Egedy), said he expressed reservations about performing to organizers, but was assured that “this one would be super safe, and that masks and sanitizer and water would be provided to everyone who entered.” He continued, “I was pretty surprised at the crowd. And of course everyone just crowded around the sound system. It felt incredible to DJ after being alone in my house for basically 6 months! And I’m sure a lot of people there felt the same. But I don’t think it was worth the risk looking back on it now. I definitely won’t be going to any events like that again while COVID is still happening. And I really hope that no one gets sick after this event.”
Several hundred people gathered for a “secret rave” in Brooklyn underneath the Kosciuszko Bridge on Saturday August 1st, with videos on social media showing some mask wearing — but minimal social distancing.
The event, according to Gothamist, started late Saturday night and was broken up by police around 4 a.m. Sunday morning, August 2nd. The event was staged at a small park beneath the Kosciuszko Bridge — which links Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Long Island City, Queens — and reportedly featured sets from Pictureplane and DJ Mazurbate.
The party was organized by a group called Renegade, which previously hosted a similar event at the same location on July 4th. That event was billed as a Black Lives Matter party, and according to Guest of a Guest, this weekend’s rave was similarly branded at first, though it was later touted as a fundraiser for the Legal Aid Society.
An anonymous organizer for the event defended it to Gothamist, though acknowledged more could’ve been done to follow safety measures.
“If you think people aren’t going to gather, you’re a fool — there’s no stopping that,” the organizer said. “The event got out of control because people wanted to come, people wanted to be out. People have been cooped up for so long. The pressure is building, and people need a release. It’s already happening. We can do it more safely, or we can pretend it isn’t happening.”
The precautions Renegade did take included stocking a table with free water, masks, and hand sanitizer, and plastering signs around the site telling people to wear masks. Overall, the organizer estimated that 70 to 80 percent of attendees wore masks.
The Renegade rave took place one week after a Chainsmokers concert in the Hamptons drew the ire of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and top state health officials. Cuomo addressed this weekend’s Brooklyn event during a press conference Monday, saying, “It’s disrespectful. It’s illegal … It violates common decency. Look at all the people you endangered. What if one of the people gets sick and dies? … We need better enforcement all across the state.”