Smash Mouth’s concert Sunday in front of a packed crowd at the Sturgis Motor Rally in South Dakota drew widespread outrage.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of bicycles were thrown on Friday in the small town of Sturgis for the start of the annual motorcycle rally. More than 250,000 people are expected to attend the 10-day rally, making it one of the biggest events to take place during the pandemic.
South Dakota has seen a strong crackdown on coronavirus infections in recent weeks.
The band was one of the main titles at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip music festival.
Smash Mouth was one of several musical acts ̵1; including Trapt, Night Ranger, Saving Abel, Buckcherry, Reverend Horton Heat, 38 Special, Quiet Riot and Big Skillet – to play at the multi-day festival, where admission throughout the event cost $ 360 per person, according to the Buffalo Chip website.
Videos and photos posted on social media showed many people in the seemingly large crowd flying instructions for social distancing on Sunday evening. Most in attendance did not appear to be wearing masks.
Event organizers said signs would be posted at all entry points and gathering areas reminding guests to stay socially away, encouraging the use of face masks and explaining recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help in preventing the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Masks are required for entry and it is recommended that they be worn, according to organizers.
Frontman Steve Harwell told the crowd, “We’re all here tonight. F — that COVID s —,” a video shows.
NBC News reached out to a representative for Smash Mouth on Tuesday to comment on the reactions made. The representative said the group had no further comment.
In a survey of residents conducted by the city, more than 60 percent said the rally should be postponed, the Associated Press reported. But businesses pressured the City Council to move on.
Some Twitter users had fun at Smash Mouth, shouting in the line “I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed” from their song “All Star” in response to the decision to perform at the big event.
“Imagine risking exposure to Covid for this … and voluntary exposure to Smash Mouth at the same time,” one user tweeted.
Another user tweeted on Twitter, “So Smash Mouth fans are fully prepared to risk death to listen live to All Star.”
Smash Mouth is among the latest musical acts to be set on fire for performance in an event packed live in recent months.
A charity concert featuring The Chainsmokers in the Hamptons, New York last month sparked widespread outrage and a state investigation as videos showed attendees appearing to ignore social distance instructions.