Event organizer says video of big crowds without masks at concert 'doesn't tell full story'

Video from TMZ shows a large crowd at a Steve Aoki concert at WTR Pool and Grill Friday evening.

The videos and pictures captured from that event and a 50 Cent concert in St. Pete are being highly criticized because of the lack of social distancing and mask-wearing.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman blasted the 50 Cent party on Twitter, saying: "This isn't how we should be celebrating the Super Bowl. It's not safe or smart. It's stupid. We're going to take a very close look at this, and it may end up costing someone a lot more than 50 cent."

Fox 13 asked the Tampa Police Department for a response. The agency said in a statement:   "Scenes from WTR last night and a few other clubs were incredibly disappointing. The city spent the better part of a year educating residents on precautions due to the pandemic and have recently put a mask order in place for both the entertainment and event zones to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors to our great City. When the Governor lifted the capacity restrictions and opened bars, we turned to the tight-knit hospitality community to reopen safe & sound but there’s a level of personal responsibility that must be followed or risk getting shut down."

But the event organizer for the Steve Aoki concert at WTR says the TMZ videos don't show the whole story.

Before walking into the venue, everyone went through a machine that looks like a metal detector, but it tests for COVID-19 symptoms, like fever, cough, and congestion. If the light turns green, you can go in. But, if the light turns red, you're then directed to a tent on-site where a nurse gives a rapid COVID-19 test.

"It's the best we can do. I'm not sure what else. We expanded the area. We encourage masks. We clean. We put up the machines that can help identify someone who maybe didn't know they had it," said Michael Piper, who managed the Steve Aoki concert at WTR.

He says the concert was in a 40,000 square-foot outdoor space with sanitation stations throughout.

UPDATES: Get news alerts and updates in the free FOX 13 News app