First COVID-19 Death Recorded in Connection to the Biker Rally Headlined by Smash Mouth

South Dakota's Sturgis Buffalo Chip has so far led to at least 260 confirmed coronavirus cases

BY Brock ThiessenPublished Sep 2, 2020

After bands like Smash Mouth played to thousands of unmasked bikers at South Dakota's Sturgis Buffalo Chip last month, a Minnesota man who attended the event has died of COVID-19.

As NBC News reports, the man — said to be in his 60s — was pronounced dead today after being hospitalized in the intensive care unit following his return from the biker rally. The death marks the first to be traced back to the 10-day event, which found more than 400,000 attendees gather with little to no social distancing measures in place and few masks to be seen.

So far, at least 260 cases across 11 U.S. states have been tied to Sturgis Buffalo Chip, which took place from August 7 to 16 and featured bands such as Smash Mouth, the Guess Who, Buckcherry, Trapt, Lit, Big Skillet, Saving Abel, Drowning Pool and Quiet Riot.

During Smash Mouth's rally performance, frontman Steve Harwell infamously topped off the show by saying, "We're all here together tonight! Fuck that COVID shit!"

As of press time, Smash Mouth have not publicly addressed the death of the Minnesota man. They also have deleted their recent Instagram post featuring hate mail they received following the event, while also have declined Exclaim!'s repeated requests to comment about their decision to play Sturgis.

Since that event, the number of COVID-19 cases in South Dakota have doubled, NBC News reports, with cases now also rising in North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska.

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