The concert took place during the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, a massive event that historically attracts about 500,000 people in the region. Sturgis City officials said this year’s event from CNN was a scaled-down version of the rally that would recommend health guidelines like social distancing.
The band was one of several artists to perform at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip campsite, about three miles outside the town of Sturgis.
The video, recorded by CNN subsidiary KOTA-TV, shows a large crowd cheering during the performance, with few masks in sight and no social distance.
At one point in the concert, you can hear a band member addressing the crowd and saying “F *** that Covid s ***”
;. It is unclear what he is saying before or after this comment.
The campsite, which has often played a pivotal role in the celebrations of the 10-day event, has put its own security in place this year, owner Rod Woodruff previously told CNN, including signs reminding guests to social distant and keep their hands hygienic hold.
Late last month, Sturgis Buffalo Chip announced that it had added more events for rally fans such as stunt shows and concerts. Several thousand people are encamped on site, Woodruff said.
The meeting is one of the largest that is held the US since the beginning of the pandemic. Experts say they fear it could be a super-spreader event as many attendees from across the country – including coronavirus hotspots – could travel bringing infections home on their return. But city officials have said they felt they couldn’t to stop the crowd from coming in and instead chose to prepare as best they could for the event.
“It is important for people to understand that in a very small community and in rural western South Dakota, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people cannot come without preparation, including garbage and sanitation and additional law enforcement and rescue personnel,” said Daniel Ainslie, the city manager, said CNN earlier this week.
South Dakota has reported about 9,663 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, according to the state’s Department of Health.