With hundreds of thousands of people attending the Sturgis motorcycle rally earlier this month, scores of people have begun to test positive for the coronavirus in the few weeks after people left South Dakota. Now, the Independent is reporting that more than 100 people connected to the Smash Mouth concert at the rally have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
The rock band most famous for its 1999 mega-hit “All Star” played the event, and during the show, lead singer Steve Harwell said, “Fuck that COVID shit. Now we’re all here together tonight.” Unsurprisingly, the coronavirus is now having its own say in the matter.
As noted by the newspaper, Willie Nelson, ZZ Top, and Lynyrd Skynyrd were originally scheduled to play the rally, but after the pandemic hit, all of them canceled their sets. That left room for bands like Smash Mouth, 38 Special, and Fozzy, helmed by pro wrestling legend Chris Jericho. Photos from those concerts appeared to show most fans not wearing masks to help protect themselves from the virus. And they certainly weren’t social distancing.
The band’s manager said at the time that there was a strict social distancing and mask policy at the event and said, “We spent endless hours advancing this event to make sure that it was pulled off as safely as possible and we are very happy with the outcome.”
Even before the new coronavirus cases emerged, the band was already receiving hate mail. On Smash Mouth’s Instagram account on Aug. 23, the band posted a photo of a smashed CD along with a letter that mentioned the words “kills,” “motherfuckers,” “irresponsible,” and “selfish.” As noted by the New York Post, the band has recently been aligned with liberal causes including the Black Lives Matter movement and has shown its support for science and women’s rights.
According to the Associated Press earlier this week, more than 100 COVID-19 cases in eight states that were in connection with Sturgis had been reported. Nearly 500,000 vehicles moved through the city limits during the rally.