Festival played by Smash Mouth and Trapt may be cause of 250,000 new COVID-19 cases

The 10-day festival drew over 450,000 attendees.

Smash Mouth

Photo: Michael Tullberg / Getty Images

The 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally which took place in South Dakota back in August may have caused 250,000 new COVID-19 cases in the United States, a recently published study from a team of California researchers suggests.

Smash Mouth, Buckcherry, Drowning Pool and Trapt were among the bands to perform at the 10-day festival, which ended up drawing 462,182 attendees.

The study was conducted by the San Diego State University’s Center for Health Economics & Policy Studies. Its goal was to gauge the impacts of a single coronavirus “super-spreader”, drawing from cell phone data to track movement and past COVID-19 case data.

However, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has openly disputed the findings, describing the report as “fiction” in a Twitter post made today (9 September).

While organisers encouraged concertgoers to adhere to CDC guidelines, social media documentation of the event revealed that an alarming number of attendees neglected to even wear face masks.

Smash Mouth also drew significant backlash for allegedly downplaying safety guidelines, with frontman Steve Harwell stating whilst onstage: “We’re all here together tonight. We’re being human once again. Fuck that COVID shit.”

Below, a clip of the event shared by Connor Matteson, a reporter for South Dakota news station Kota TV.

Last week (3 September), the Washington Post reported a Minnesotan man in his 60s to be the first fatality from the event.

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