Editor’s note: Story updated to include statement from Creative Concerts
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, incensed by the apparent lack of social distancing and masks at a Chainsmokers show in the Hamptons last weekend, apparently threatened to pull Vernon Downs Hotel Casino’s gaming license if it hosted the two-day concert by jamband moe. this coming weekend according to sources associated with the show.
The shows, produced by Creative Concerts, were set to take place at the harness racing track and casino in Central New York Friday, July 31 and Saturday, Aug. 1 with strict social distancing rules in effect.
Friday night’s show sold out quickly and a Saturday show was added to accommodate fans who were shut out of that show. The band also announced on Tuesday that it was making the shows available for purchase via live stream through Tour Gigs with a portion of the proceeds donated to The Center, a Mohawk Valley non-profit organization dedicated to helping refugees and immigrants successfully settle in the area.
The Adirondack Independence Music Festival in Lake George is also scheduled to host a drive-in concert this weekend at Wood Park featuring Vermont jamband Twiddle. However, last-minute demands being placed on the organizers by New York State are hampering efforts to make this show happen as well.
According to Adirondack Independence Music Festival, the state issued new guidelines late on Tuesday stating that drive-in concerts are allowed provided attendees remain in their vehicles for the entirety of the show unless needing to use restrooms. Organizers for the Twiddle shows posted the following to the Adirondack Independence Music Festival Facebook page earlier on Wednesday:
Creative Concerts attempted to locate an alternative site to hold the moe. Miracle Mile shows but was unable to do so with such short notice.
In an announcement issued Wednesday, Vernon Downs expressed its regret in having to pull out as host.
Despite putting a comprehensive health and safety plan in place for the events, Vernon Downs management made the preemptive decision to not allow the concerts to be held on-site due to the continuing health and safety concerns surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic
The casino has been closed since mid-March due to COVID-19 and just recently sent layoff notices to all of its employees.
Last week Creative Concerts announced another drive-in show featuring Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at the Finger Lakes Drive-In in Auburn, scheduled for Aug. 15 and 16. It is unknown whether Wednesday’s moe. announcement will affect the Auburn show.
moe. issued a statement about the cancellation late on Wednesday. The band will still be performing this weekend via livestream from their practice space.
Creative Concerts’ Chuck Chao released the following statement regarding the cancellation: