Videos of the party have led to criticism around a lack of social distancing and mask wearing, while a separate boat party was also shut down and the promoters arrested.
The event drew hundreds of revellers to the border of Brooklyn and Queens, and received criticism online after videos showing dancers not adequately distanced—and some not wearing masks—surfaced. Police reportedly broke up the gathering around 4 AM.
The promoter, Renegade, had previously thrown a Black Lives Matter event under the same bridge on July 4th, and has provided sound and power for protests in the last few months as well.
In an interview with Gothamist, the organizer said they handed out free masks, hand sanitizer and water, and defended the intentions behind the rave: "The event got out of control because people wanted to come, people wanted to be out. People have been cooped up for so long. The pressure is building, and people need a release. It's already happening. We can do it more safely, or we can pretend it isn't happening."
He also said that attendees were asked to donate to the Legal Aid Society, but he wasn't sure how much money may have been donated.
Brooklyn-based DJ Pictureplane played the event. In a statement to RA he said, "I was just under the impression that this would be handled safely. Beforehand, the promoters stressed to me how involved they have been with BLM protests and how different this 'rave' would be from others that have received backlash. They guaranteed safety and that it was well organized... saying they had a Funktion-One soundsystem and that masks were mandatory and would be also given out to anyone who needed them."
"They also sent me video of the location which made it seem enormous," he added. "I really thought there would be more than enough room for people to dance safely. Which I see now was naive. While most people I saw were in masks, the crowd size and attendance was a shock to me. I sympathize with everyone's concern and outrage. And I feel badly and regret that I took part in anything that could have been a threat to people's health. These parties do not need to be happening like this until [they] can be done more safely or with more structure and organization. I really think [it was] because I have been isolated from people at home for so long that I agreed to take part in this, thinking that it would be safer and somehow OK."
In a briefing Monday morning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo referred to the bridge rave—as well as an East River boat party that was shut down, with the promoters arrested—as "[violating] common decency."
"Look at all the people you endangered," Cuomo said. "What if one of the people gets sick and dies? We need better enforcement all across the state."
The criticism and attention follows the mainstream spotlight on a charity party in the Hamptons on Long Island last weekend, where The Chainsmokers and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon DJ'd to a crowd that also did not adhere to social-distancing guidelines.