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Photos: 2,000+ Capacity Hardcore Show in NYC with Masking and Social Distancing Ignored

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On Saturday, April 24, several hardcore bands performed in New York City’s Tompkins Square Park to an audience reported to be nearly 3,000 people. Photos of the show that have been circulating online show many attendees openly flouting Covid-19 safety regulations by ignoring social distancing and masking mandates as they mosh up front.

The concert was put together by Black N Blue Productions, best known for This Is Hardcore Fest, and featured performances by Madball, Murphy’s Law, Bloodclot and The Captures at the park, which has long been a bastion for NYC hardcore culture. The show was a benefit for the New York City Firefighters Burn Foundation, and while admission was free, attendees were encouraged to donate.

New York State law currently allows for outdoor venues to operate at 20% capacity with mandatory masking and social distancing. Those requirements were openly ignored at the park, which does not have a gated entryway during operating hours and does not have adequate parks staff to surveil a large event, as hundreds of maskless folks can be seen moshing in front of the stage.

Bloodclot frontman John Joseph (ex-Cro-mags) took to Facebook to defend the event, drawing a false parallel between last year’s Black Lives Matter protests (which saw the vast majority of folks masked and distanced) and yesterday’s show:

“And let me say this – to all those talking shit. 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. People who didn’t want to come – stayed away. Good – nobody missed their ass.”

Covid-19 rates in New York are currently among the worst in the nation, although they have recently had a modest decline after remaining stubbornly high throughout the early spring. Increasing numbers of younger patients are being admitted to hospitals nationwide in contrast to the perception that mostly older adults come down with severe cases of Covid-19. According to New York state, 43.8% of the adult population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 30.7% are fully vaccinated. Last week, New York opened up Covid-19 vaccinations to all adults 16 and older, meaning most of those fully vaccinated right now are still older residents, healthcare workers, etc.

While we fully understand people are anxious to blow off steam after a year of no shows, this is not a responsible way to do it. We want shows to come back just as much as anyone, but events like this will make a large scale return to concerts take longer for us all while needlessly and selfishly putting folks health in danger. Please stay safe, people.

You can view some photos of the event below.

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