Outdoor Concert In Sag Harbor Canceled Halfway Through Show As Crowd Grows Too Large

Robin Paltis dances with her mask on near her social-distance cone during the HooDoo Loungers concert in Marine Park in Sag Habor on Saturday afternoon. mike heller

An outdoor concert at Marine Park in Sag Harbor had to be canceled Saturday evening midway through the show because of large crowds, village officials said Sunday morning.

The concert, part of a WLNG concert series, was shut down about 6:45 p.m., according to Mayor Kathleen Mulcahy, shortly after its first act, the HooDoo Loungers performed, but before a second act, featuring Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks could take the stage.

“There were about 175 people in the park,” the mayor said, “and we just can’t do that.”
The audience grew quickly, she said, and people were “streaming in” from Main Street, attracted by the music.

Officials made several announcements asking people to leave, and while some did, the mayor said, it just wasn’t enough.

Vocalists Marvin Joshua and Dawnette Darden during the HooDoo Loungers concert in Marine Park in Sag Habor on Saturday afternoon. mike heller

Audience members in the park were restricted to “cones,” she noted, but each cone had more audience members at each distanced spot than in other similar concerts throughout the summer.

“People were good about staying within their cones,” she said, “but the groups were too big.”

At about 6:30 p.m., organizers decided to cancel the show before The Lone Sharks could take the stage.

“We just thought, ‘We can’t let the band start,’” she said, noting that she saw part of the HooDoo Loungers set, which she said was “fabulous.”

The mayor noted that the concert had been scheduled earlier in the year when officials thought they might still have the annual Harbor Fest celebration, or at least the famous Whale Boat Race, both of which were eventually canceled due to the pandemic. The village was also forced this week to cancel an invitation-only ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the completion of a $4.3 million renovation of Long Wharf that was set to take place Saturday afternoon, after it began to become too unwieldy.

“It’s very sad,” the mayor said. “It’s a weird year, we just can’t plan things the way we want to. We don’t want people to get hurt.”