Arkansas to Hold One of America’s First Socially-Distanced Concerts

Offering a preview of what live music may look like in the future.

May 6, 2020

Uncertainty remains as to when live music events will return en masse, but one Arkansas venue will be holding a concert next week that may provide a glimpse on what’s to come.

Bishop Gunn vocalist Travis McCready will be performing one of the nation’s first socially-distanced concerts when he takes the stage at TempleLive in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The venue has a capacity of 1,100, but will only be admitting 80% of it by making 229 seats available.

The show’s Ticketmaster page lists out a variety of guidelines the venue and fans will be following.

Prior to each event, the venue will be sanitized by an independent third party via fog sprayers. Venue employees will be actively wiping down touch points in the venue and its restrooms. Additionally, all beverages will be prepackaged or have lids.

Fans will have to follow several rules in order to attend the concert. For one, all attendees and employees must wear a mask. If an attendee doesn’t have a mask, they’ll be able to purchase one at the venue. Employees will be directing people via one way walk-ways and ensure that everyone remains six feet apart.

Additionally, tickets have been broken into “fan pods,” which are blocks of seats six feet apart from one another that must be purchased in groups of two to 12.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced earlier this week that indoor venues could resume live concerts on May 18. As McCready’s show is set to take place three days before this date, venue owner Mike Brown offered the following explanation to Billboard.

"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."

So far, McCready is the only event the venue has scheduled until August 22nd.

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