The coronavirus pandemic has shut down the live music industry for months. Now that we see the number of cases starting to decline, cities and states are slowly beginning to reopen. The state of Arkansas is taking a big step forward announcing a major concert which will be held at a venue in Fort Smith on May 15. The concert will be taking place at Temple Live and it will feature Bishop Gunn’s Travis McCready.
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In preparation for the concert, the venue has published extensive rules and regulations on its web site meant to keep attendees safe. These include allowing only 229 guests into the 1100 capacity venue. The venue will also be sanitized prior to the event, masks will be available upon check-in and everyone that enters will be subject to a temperature check. One way walk throughs will be implemented, there will be a 10 person limit in the bathroom and tickets must be bought in clusters. Clusters of fans will be seated six feet apart.
The concert was announced last week. Here is a direct quote from Temple Live rep Mark Brown. “From what we can tell, this is the first announced live show in the country since we were all shut down from COVID-19… This isn’t going to be a thing to make money with, but it’s a step back toward normalcy and best practices that we can institute… The financial side is not something that we were really concerned with. We wanted to give something back to the community.”
The concert will predate the state’s reopening of large public venues by three days. And even when these venues are permitted to reopen, capacity will be limited to 50 people, much more than the 229 Temple Live will be allowing in. When asked about these concerns, here’s what Brown had to say.
“We actually just got off a conversation with the state health department. The governor has done a great job with his administration and how he has handled this. If you are a church, there are no restrictions on how many people you can have inside as long as they follow CDC guidelines and stay six feet apart. So our position is, a public gathering is a public gathering regardless of the reason, whether you are going to go to a quilting event, a church or a concert. Tell me the difference, because in our opinion it is discriminatory.”
As of April 30, the state of Arkansas has had 3,210 confirmed cases of COVID and 59 deaths. This makes them the SEC state that was least affected by the disease.
The fact that cities and states are starting to reopen is a positive sign but it is hopeful that this doesn’t lead to another outbreak. We hope everyone that attends the concert on the 15th has fun and stays safe.