Have we, with a little help from the Chainsmokers, a Goldman Sachs CEO and a plot to hawk hand sanitiser in an aerosol can, reached peak 2020?

Oh July. Height of the UK summer, when the tarmac on the street begins to melt, the pavements stay warm long after sundown, and when blissful summer afternoons in the park slowly melt into heady all-nighters. Except not this year of course, this year we’re all stuck inside deciding whether to watch another DJ doing a live stream or continue attempting to get to the very end of Netflix. 

It is of course also summer in the US and as I understand it from TV and films, everyone in America spends their summers either watching children play in the spray from open fire hydrants, or they head off to the Hamptons. The Hamptons sound like a posh family who have an unspecified quantity of daughters named things like Binty and Paradisia but Google tells me it’s an exclusive summer holiday destination for wealthy Americans. Sounds divine. 

Why am I talking about the Hamptons? Because that’s the location that US dumpster-house duo The Chainsmokers chose to put on their charity drive-in concert this weekend. Except of course that as a video currently circulating on social media clearly shows, large numbers of the attendees obviously found the whole ‘drive-in’ aspect difficult to understand and simply got out of their cars and pretended that they’d never heard of social-distancing. Pretty stupid right? But is it as stupid as lacking the self-awareness to realise that bragging about the whole debacle on social media might not be the wisest move? It’s hard to say, but in an act of bovine stupidity, the Chainsmokers – or perhaps their management, who knows, self-sabotaged themselves by putting footage up online. 

Oh but wait, maybe they didn’t self-sabotage, maybe it’s all part of their cunning marketing plan and we’re just playing into their hands by talking about it, ever think that Harold? Really? Did I ever think that they put on this event hoping that everyone would see a large throng of mask-free attendees grouped together in a state where gatherings of more than 50 people are currently banned and logically assume that the Chainsmokers couldn’t give a shit about anyone who goes on to catch the virus and like, you know, die? That’s their marketing approach? I think not.

In the final slice of ironic bread in what was already a multi-layered irony sandwich, the event was staged to launch a new range of hand sanitiser aerosols.

Hey though, it gets better. Wanna know who was warming up? Brilliant DJ, you’ve probably heard of him if you keep an eye on the underground, it was DJ D-Sol. Yeh boi, that’s right, the one and only DJ D-Sol. Wait you’ve not heard of DJ D-Sol? Oh, right, perhaps you’re more familiar with his alter ego, David Solomon, CEO of investment bank Goldman Sachs. 

Solomon is part of a new trend in the true underground techno scene of white investment bankers holidaying as brilliant, well-informed DJs who really respect the culture, He’s following in the footsteps of authentic underground DJ  ‘Housekeeping’ DJ Taylor McWilliams. McWilliams is also known as chief executive of property investment company Hondo who’ve been steadily ripping the heart out of Brixton for a while now including closing the legendary 414 Club.

Honestly, this new breed of millionaire businessman DJs might just be the worst thing to happen to dance music since the Chainsmokers. Which brings us neatly back to the Chainsmokers. We were talking about their ‘show’ weren’t we. Ticket prices were $1250 to $25,000. I know right, aside from anything else, if you’ve got $25,000 to blow on attending a Chainsmokers gig, then I don’t know, maybe dying of covid is least of your worries compared to whatever god-awful derangement is going on inside your head.

It certainly looks like a huge number of attendees didn’t bother with social distancing, but hey, there were dividers in front of the stage and there was hand sanitiser there so we’re all good. Ah, I nearly forgot to mention the hand sanitiser. In the final slice of ironic bread in what was already a multi-layered irony sandwich, the event was staged to launch a new range of hand sanitiser aerosols. Let’s just try and summarise this then shall we, strap in:

A pair of electronic EDM music haircuts who profit from their beige bastardisation of black culture put on a massive show where social distancing seems to have been abandoned, during a global pandemic that is disproportionately killing black people, in order to hawk a brand of overpriced and un-necessarily over-engineered hand sanitiser in a gig where the warm-up DJ was CEO of investment bank Goldman Sachs. Phew. If this isn’t peak 2020 then I’m Wiley’s PR. 

Harold Heath is on Twitter.

29th July, 2020

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