NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said she is “furious” after a large crowd gathered near Jackson Square for an unsanctioned concert on Saturday.
Christian musician Sean Feucht held a worship service and concert along Decatur Street, drawing hundreds of people who were not wearing masks or social distancing.
The 37-year-old gospel musician from California ran for a congressional seat in California in early 2020 but lost. Since then, he has been holding events called “Let Us Worship” across the country, violating COVID-19 restrictions.
Cantrell harshly criticized organizers, saying the event did not comply with city guidelines and that they face possible legal action.
“The organizer use the pretense of religion to hold this event with other motives,” Cantrell said. “And that simply was not right.”
“While this was under the guise of a religious activity or event, we know it put our people in danger,” Cantrell added.
Cantrell said organizers put communities in danger while denying personal responsibilities.
Meanwhile, local musicians who have been frustrated economically by the virus and not being able to play, said the event upset them.
"All of us are enraged," said Arsène DeLay, a local singer/songwriter who hasn't performed since March. "All of us have been staying inside. All of us have been wearing masks. For them to come here and do this is a slap in the face to the entire culture."
The mayor said the New Orleans Police Department responded to the event as an unsanctioned protest and blocked off streets. The police department referred to the event as a “community demonstration” over the weekend.
Saturday’s event in New Orleans included preachers and musicians along with Lafayette native singer-songwriter Lauren Daigle.
Eyewitness News reached out to organizer Sean Feucht Monday morning but have not received a response. He tweeted Monday calling the criticism a 'double standard' comparing large celebrations for the presidential election to Saturday's worship service.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.