The 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally took place over the weekend in Sturgis, South Dakota, greeting tens of thousands of fans during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the SF Chronicle, an estimated 250,000 attendees attended this 10 day event, which hosted the likes of Smash Mouth and Trapt on Sunday. Other bands that are expected to play include Buckcherry, Drowning Pool, Night Ranger, Reverend Horton Heat, Lit, 38 Special, Quiet Riot and Big Skillet.
While many states are preventing mass gatherings or placing tight restrictions of them, South Dakota has not passed a statewide mask mandate, nor does the event have any rules in place for large gatherings. The most recent statistics state that there are a total of 9,605 infections in the state and 146 deaths.
Organizers stated that they would be following CDC guidelines for the event, however videos and pictures taken from the show on Sunday see the crowd packed together with very few wearing face coverings. The manager of Smash Mouth released a statement to Billboard stating that the event “was pulled off as safely as possible,” while Trapt frontman Christopher Taylor Brown responded to a Twitter user stating “You are such a tool🤦🏻♂️ Covid is less deadly for anyone under 50 than the flu… FACT. You are a paranoid idiot.”
these people risked it all to see Smash Mouth last night pic.twitter.com/6yDbVXXEGN
— Lambgoat (@lambgoat) August 10, 2020
You are such a tool🤦🏻♂️ Covid is less deadly for anyone under 50 than the flu… FACT. You are a paranoid idiot
— TRAPT (@TRAPTOFFICIAL) August 10, 2020
Despite the event’s turnout, CNN reports that 60 percent of the residents in Sturgis were against hosting the motorcycle rally. CBS also reported controversies outside of the event taking place during the pandemic, as
84 arrests, 226 citations and 18 crashes were reported in 24 hours during the event.
Here is a brighter video to see all the people (credit KOTATV) pic.twitter.com/P7XW46BLiS
— Connor Matteson (@mattesontv) August 10, 2020
Photo Credit: Boston Lynn Schulz