Plainclothes officers from the Ohio Investigative Unit — a division of the state’s Dept. of Public Safety — found hundreds of unmasked and not socially distanced people inside the Aftermath nightclub on Saturday night (Dec. 5), according to a release about the incident.
“Agents arrived at 9:30 p.m. and observed egregious violations of health orders as approximately 500 people inside attended a concert,” reads the statement. “The dance floor and stage area, as well as the bar and table sections were crowded with patrons. Patrons were congregated throughout the premises with no attempts to maintain social distancing and no physical barriers in place. Agents observed patrons standing, walking freely and sharing alcoholic beverages directly from the same bottle as they were passed between groups. No social distancing or physical barriers were in place. Most of the crowd and the employees were not wearing facial coverings.”
As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Ohio, the city said that Aftermath’s actions posed an “immediate danger” to the attendees and the community at large, according to WOSU, with Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein saying that a restraining order has been imposed and will remain in place until the local municipal court takes additional action, which is expected on Dec. 17.
“Last weekend’s indoor concert at Aftermath was in blatant disregard of COVID-19 health orders and social distancing best practices,” Klein said in a statement about the show from the singer, who revealed in October that he’d tested positive for the coronavirus and that he was taking it “very” seriously.
“We are in the middle of a surge in coronavirus infections, yet the owners of Aftermath planned to continue hosting large-scale events at their venue, including this upcoming weekend. In the interest of community health, we secured an immediate shutdown of this property,” Klein added.
CNN also reported that Klein’s office has filed a nuisance orders lawsuit alleging that the venue and its owners violated multiple public health codes in defiance of Ohio’s state of emergency orders to combat COVID-19; to date Ohio has recorded more than 510,000 positive COVID-19 cases.
A spokesperson for Songz had not returned a request for comment at press time; Billboard was unable to reach a spokesperson at Aftermath for comment at press time.
Check out purported footage from the show below.