San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera is accusing a party promoter of organizing an illegal party for this Friday, amid the mandatory statewide shelter-in-place due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, and is calling on the promoter to cancel the party.
According to a listing on Eventbrite.com, event promoter Set San Francisco is selling nonrefundable tickets for a party called "Lehar (Afterlife, Multinotes, Diynamic) at 251 Rhode Island St., allegedly ranging from $5 to $780, which includes a package of 8 tickets, 2 bottles and a "VIP booth."
Herrera is ordering the promoter to remove the online listing, and notify everyone who bought tickets that the event has been canceled and refund them their money.
"How someone acts in a crisis says a lot about them," Herrera said in a statement. "The individuals behind this party have either completely failed in their responsibility to the public, are engaged in a cynical scheme to rip off people knowing this event will never happen, or are putting lives at risk in a dangerous attempt to profit off a public health emergency."
He said, "All of those are unacceptable. Putting 200 people together in a club is the exact wrong thing to do right now. It would create a powder keg for this virus to explode across our communities. We're not about to let that happen," he said.
In addition, Herrera sent a letter on Tuesday to the owner of the event space, 251 Rhode Island Street LLC, further ordering them to cancel the event and to stop promoting it. According to the event space's website, however, the space is closed.
"Like most other bars in California, we are currently closed and waiting out the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope to re-open as soon as we are given the okay by state and local authorities," a statement on the website said.
As the shelter-in-place order given by city leaders in San Francisco reaches its eighth day, leaders are continuing to urge residents to stay in their homes, and only go out for essential items like food, in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Failure to comply with order could potentially result in a fine of up to $1,000, a misdemeanor charge, and possibly jail time for as much as a year.
"Local businesses have been overwhelmingly cooperative with the shelter in place orders now in effect, and most San Franciscans know that social distancing isn't solely necessary to protect their own life and safety -- it's to protect everyone," San Francisco police Chief William Scott said.
Scott said, "Unfortunately, it appears there may be scofflaws who either don't know or don't care. Today's preemptive move by City Attorney Dennis Herrera sends a strong message to any would-be wrongdoer that city agencies are working in close coordination to enforce the emergency order and protect public health."