Smash Mouth's ill-fated Sturgis Rally show linked to 100+ cases of coronavirus

A portrait of Smash Mouth in 1999
(Image credit: Bob Berg / Contributor / Getty Images)

Earlier this month, Smash Mouth sparked a considerable amount of global ire when they performed at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. The event went ahead without social distancing measures in place and without a requirement for face masks, despite the event allegedly attracting "500000 riders, concert fanatics, and street-food enjoyers" and all of us being in the midst of a global pandemic.

Footage of Smash Mouth playing the event went viral when a video showing vocalist Steve Harwell shouting "we're all here together tonight. Fuck that COVID shit" was shared on social media. The band were roundly blasted online, and have since shared "fanmail" they've received on their Instagram page, including a smashed up CD accompanied by a letter calling them "selfish fuckers". 

The situation has worsened since a spokesperson for the South Dakota Health Department has confirmed they've found 40 coronavirus cases connected to the rally, including three that were out of state. However, North Dakota Department of Health have identified 17 in-state cases related to the rally, and at least 103 connected cases that are said to have spread to Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

"Health officials in South Dakota have said they don’t know how many people were exposed and have issued public warnings of possible COVID-19 exposure at five businesses popular with bikers," reports The Associated Press. Rally attendees are being urged to "closely monitor for symptoms and get tested at a free North Dakota testing site". 

Other bands playing the event included Night Ranger, the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, Buckcherry, Lit, .38 Special, Quiet Riot, Reverend Horton Heat and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.

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A photo posted by @smashmouthsmash on Aug 22, 2020 at 10:33am PDT

Briony Edwards

Briony is the Editor in Chief of Louder and is in charge of sorting out who and what you see covered on the site. She started working with Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Prog magazines back in 2015 and has been writing about music and entertainment in many guises since 2009. She is a big fan of cats, Husker Du and pizza.