New Orleans Locals Upset After Thousands Of Maskless People Attend Worship Concert In French Quarter
A worship event in New Orleans on Saturday is not sitting well with some locals.
The event was organized by Sean Feucht, a politician, activist, and Christian singer/songwriter. It also featured national recording artist and Lafayette native Lauren Daigle.
Even though he unsuccessfully ran for Calfornia's 3rd Congressional District as a Republican earlier this year, Feucht does not consider himself to be a politician—but he has been part of a large political conversation, "both criticized and lauded for holding various Christian worship concerts in mid-2020 during and in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic."
Feucht's worship concert on Saturday in New Orleans is currently at the center of the ongoing frustration in a city that is struggling to get their COVID numbers in control after thousands of people are seen packed into Jackson Square in multiple videos, most of them not wearing masks.
View this post on Instagram
GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS OVER NOLA!! I NEEDED THIS TONIGHT!! #LetUsWorship A post shared by S E A N F E U C H T (@seanfeucht) on
Social media reactions were mixed, with critical comments ranging from those who were shocked to see a "super spreader" event taking place to others who wondered how the worship concert was allowed to go on in the middle of the French Quarter under the tough COVID-19 restrictions that NOLA Mayor Latoya Cantrell has notoriously refused to back down on.
Cantrell posted that the city is aware and will be figuring out the next steps in how to respond, but locals wondered why the city allowed the event to take place in the first place. Others pointed out law enforcement working the event, but making zero attempts to enforce any of the mandates.
Lafayette native Lauren Daigle has also received mixed reactions from fans as some appreciated their resilience to worship but criticized the overall irresponsibility, especially given New Orleans struggle during the coronavirus pandemic.
New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell may be the person who is being held most accountable by those who were shocked to see the lack of masks and distancing at an event that took place in stark public contrast to the mandates and restrictions that she currently has in place. Ironically, the majority of the direct criticism came on a tweet that encouraged NOLA residents to mask up and get tested—especially those who have recently attended a large gathering where people weren't wearing masks.
In addition to those who were upset that the event took place, many local musicians and those in the arts community were frustrated to see this concert take place while the New Orleans event and entertainment industry has been crippled by restrictions for months now.
View this post on Instagram
Ok now I’m pissed, and here comes my native 17th Ward accent. HOW in the hell does this happen (yesterday) in New Orleans in the middle of a pandemic, not a mask nor social distanced space in sight. Who allows this kind of thing, and how, and WHY???? Also, last I was told, OUR New Orleans musicians, whose historic culture created the foundation for American popular music, are still not allowed to perform en masse (or even minimally) in OUR city. And our venues can’t hold musical events and many will close. We can’t have festivals. We can’t have second lines. We can’t have jazz funerals. We can’t do our New Orleans things. And we are following the rules so that we are in compliance in order to keep ourselves and others safe as we move towards ending the pandemic with science. BUT *THIS* can happen with non-New Orleanians in the open across from Jackson Square in the middle of the French Quarter????? Who is following the rules in this video? Someone make it make (common) sense!!!! (Also go home, people who do not care about my community or people in general! We don’t want your harm-filled “squad” here, @holdtheline_ @seanfeucht @lauren_daigle.) #Repost from @seanfeucht • SQUAD SHOWING UP IN NOLA!!!! Celebrating so many salvations and miracles tonight across from Boubon Street! Thousands of of fiery Cajuns for Jesus! #LetUsWorship A post shared by DJ Soul Sister (@djsoulsister) on
There was a massive outdoor evangelical church service held in front of Jackson Square yesterday. The amplification was so loud I heard it blocks away and went to investigate. I was kind of shocked to see it. The participants were mostly unmasked. At the same time our local musicians have been floundering with no help or guidance from city government and no venues available to them. I think the city of New Orleans owes them answers.
There is no word on whether or not permits were secured for a concert, but it is very likely that the city permitted the event as a protest as many of Feucht's concerts nationwide are held in opposition to government restrictions on religious gatherings due to the pandemic.
We will update this story when more details become available.