Wednesday, April 28, 2021

More fallout from Saturday's hardcore show in Tompkins Square Park, and an exclusive look at the event application

Reporting by Stacie Joy

The fallout from Saturday's hardcore matinee in Tompkins Square Park continues. 

Gothamist reported yesterday that the Parks Department has revoked permits for seven upcoming events that were organized by East Village resident Chris Flash, who had applied for the permit for the Saturday show. (Two of the events had already received city approval.) 

According to PIX11 and Gothamist, reps from the Parks Department said that Saturday's free all-ages show was billed as a "September 11 Memorial" on the permit application, a point that made headlines at both outlets and drew outrage from readers for its brazenness. Each outlet said that the Parks Department had provided them with a copy of the permit.

In an interview with EVG's Stacie Joy on Monday, Flash, who has organized concerts in Tompkins Square Park since 2006, said that the permit he filed for on April 24 did not mention 9/11.

"Nowhere did it say anything about September 11. We did apply for a September 11 memorial event, but it was for September," Flash said. "Why would we apply for a September 11 memorial in April?" 

As proof, he shared a copy of the approved permit (submitted last Nov. 2 and OK'd on March 23 — we blocked out his address and contact information) that the Parks Department had previously shared with him for the date.

The permit shows the event name titled "rally/concert." (click on the image for more details) ...
It's not immediately clear why the approved permit Flash received from the city differs from the ones the Parks Department is sharing with media outlets.

"I think the spokesperson entered my name and all the permits came up — there are eight of them, seven left — and she gave them one random application," Flash told Stacie last night. "I wanted May Day — it has social and political implications. They refused to give us May Day. They offered us April 24, which I accepted."

He also has concerns about the Parks Department "violating his confidentiality" by releasing the permits to reporters.

"And in addition to violating my confidentiality, [the Parks Department] gave out the wrong information," Flash said. 

Elsewhere on the permit, there's a mention of "amplified sound from 2-6 p.m. with proper sound device permit from NYPD." 

The attendance is listed on the permit as 100, and estimates put Saturday's crowd size at 2,000 during the late-afternoon sets by bands with large followings — Bloodclot, Murphy's Law and Madball. 

At the time of this filing this past November, Flash said they didn't know who was going to play on that date. The show, which also served as a fundraiser for the New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation, was first announced by Black N' Blue Productions on April 8. 

According to Gothamist, "the alleged misrepresentations" on the permit along with the crowd size (outdoor events in New York are capped at 500) and the lack of masks and social distancing prompted the Parks Department to revoke the permits for Flash for the remainder of the year. (Flash previously said that they followed the city's three pages of COVID-related requirements.)

The large number of maskless attendees during a pandemic drew the ire of people on social media as well as some residents who were in the park on Saturday afternoon. Local Assemblymember Harvey Epstein referred to the show as a "super spreader event" in a tweet.

In a message with Stacie yesterday, he wrote: "I was in the park on Saturday and saw the overwhelming crowd. They violated their permit, and [the Parks Department] withdrew all future permits. I agree with that decision. It was not safe."

Meanwhile, Flash said that he has not heard from anyone at the Parks Department. 

"All I know so far is that the Parks Department said they are going to review everything. I applied for eight shows, so seven are coming up," he said. "It remains to be seen what their next move is. They have no legitimate grounds to refuse us permits for any future events. I do not know the requirements for a rescinded permit, but I have not been contacted."


"Regardless of what happens, I will be discussing this with my lawyer. I have a 15-year clean track record of being conscientious and following all the rules and regulations. Wouldn't it be more appropriate to issue a warning?"

Flash described this all as "a momentary media frenzy." 

"They will move on and find something new to have a frenzy over," he said. "In short, I am not worried in the least. I welcome a good fight."

Updated 2 p.m.

Flash confirmed the following: "The Parks Department emailed us a two-page letter informing us of their intention to revoke all subsequent permits in TSP." No word on the next steps.


Gigante! said...

This guy is saying that they followed all rules specified by the permit and other regulations, but they absolutely did not. Crowd size, sound level (much louder than 4db), soliciting donations, affixing signs to fences, etc. All of those stipulations were broken.

The common defense I see from people who attended is "I thought you didn't need masks outside". That is only partially true. With proper distancing masks are not required, but when you have hundreds of people packed tightly, yelling, etc for an extended period of time that is a good way to transmit a virus. Why not just wear a mask? I seriously do not understand why people do not understand that you can go out and do a lot of things, but help yourself and others by wearing a mask.

ed anger said...

The promoter didn’t have this under control at all, regardless of what it was billed as in the application. So yeah, yank his permits.

XTC said...

So if hundreds of young and/or middle aged punks show up in the hospital, or drop dead, in two weeks than we'll know if Covid is easily transmitted outdoors, at crowded music events, at this time. However, If it's true that some scientists believe NY will be at herd immunity by the end of April due to those already infected (supposedly as much as 40% months ago) combined with those who have been vaccinated than this event seems like a tempest in a teapot, or rather a mosh pit. We'll know in a couple of weeks.

sophocles said...

The 9/11 aspect is a distraction, as is the unspecified charitable donation. When ypu are in a hole stop digging Chris?

John Penley said...

Are the mask outdoors restrictions not going to be lifted on May 1 in New York anyway ? If things are this dangerous currently in Tompkins Square then NO restrictions should be removed on May 1. How many of the above people's making comments have gotten their shot ? I have never agreed with Flash on his mask and vax beliefs but wonder if all this happened only because of the Daily Beast's story and would like to know how many people actually get sick from this concert ? Personally, I think the Parks Department has wanted to stop giving out permits to Flash for years and because of the Daily Beast's high profile report the Parks has an excuse to do it. John Penley

John Penley said...

On another note.... the usual sound person for Flash's shows Jim Sim is here with me in Vegas recovering from a stroke and he is now at Caesars Place in a free room because he likes to party and gamble. When I told Jimmy about this controversy he laughed and said get the shot and get on with life like he and I are doing here in Vegas. John Penley

ed anger said...

@unknown, you’re a terrible apologist for a complete disregard for public safety, stfu already

XTC said...

Public Safety Announcement: Daily Covid cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are down 40% this past week alone. This morning Emperor DeBlasio decreed the City will reopen with "no restrictions" July 1.

People like Ed, however, can continue to live in a bubble and stay home and vegetate on their couch.

ed anger said...

Having 2000 people moshing without masks and the majority unvaccinated is a disaster waiting to happen, and doesn't show any attempt by this idiot promoter to follow the current health safety rules.

So dimwit, people are certainly free to go out and do things, as long as they follow the current rules. hope you're not infecting your friends and relatives.

ed anger said...

Enjoy not seeing anymore shows in the park this summer because of this promoter, bro

John Penley said...

How does Eddie boy know most of the people at TSP were not vaccinated ? He has no idea. Crowd estimates on Parks permits are always guesses since it is never possible to know how many people will show up. Weather is a factor and there are others. Note to Eddie you have other agendas and have no idea [like the media does in real life on this story ] if even one person spread Covid at this event. If anyone sees Eddie anywhere in the East Village outside without a mask let us know so we can see whether he really believes his own words. John Penley

ed anger said...

Only a tiny fraction could be vaccinated, the state only opened up to 16 and older a couple weeks ago, and it takes a month and a half to be fully vaccinated. Even worse, the promoter had zero control over this event, no distancing, no crowd control, no vaccination status check, nothing. Sheer incompetence to have 2000 people packed tightly together.