Event organizer

Event organizer says video of large, maskless crowds at concert ‘doesn’t tell the whole story’

Video from TMZ shows a large crowd at a Steve Aoki concert at the WTR Pool and Grill on Friday night.

Videos and images captured at this event and a 50 Cent concert at St. Pete are heavily criticized for lack of social distancing and mask-wearing.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman blasted the 50 Cent Party on Twitter: “This is not how we should be celebrating the Super Bowl. It’s not safe or smart. It’s stupid. We We’re going to take a very hard look at this, and it may end up costing someone upwards of 50 cents.”

Fox 13 has asked the Tampa Police Department for a response. The agency said in a statement: “The scenes at WTR last night and a few other clubs were incredibly disappointing. The city has spent the better part of a year educating residents on pandemic precautions and recently implemented a mask order for both the entertainment and event areas to keep our residents and visitors to our great city safe.When the Governor lifted capacity restrictions and opened bars, we turned to the tight-knit hotel community to reopen safe and sound, but there is a level of staff responsibility that must be followed or risk being closed.”

But the event organizer for Steve Aoki’s concert at the WTR says TMZ’s videos don’t show the whole story.

Before entering the venue, everyone passed through a machine that looks like a metal detector but tests for symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough and congestion. If the light turns green, you can enter. But, if the light turns red, then you are directed to an on-site tent where a nurse does a rapid COVID-19 test.

“It’s the best we can do. I don’t know what else. We’ve expanded the area. We’re encouraging masks. We’re cleaning. We’re putting in the machines that can help identify someone who didn’t know can -be not that he had it,” said Michael Piper, who conducted Steve Aoki’s concert at WTR.

He says the concert took place in a 40,000 square foot outdoor space with toilet stations throughout.

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