Arkansas Hosting First Socially-Distanced Concert — Here’s What to Expect
One of the first socially-distanced concerts of the coronavirus pandemic will take place in Arkansas next week. And the show's seating arrangement gives fans a look at how live music might work in a post-COVID-19 world.
Travis McCready, frontman of the country-rock outfit Bishop Gunn, will perform a solo acoustic show at the concert next Friday (May 15) at Fort Smith's TempleLive venue. However, as Billboard has reported, the concert audience will be sectioned off into groupings of what Ticketmaster is calling "fan pods."
Indeed, these "fan pods" are sets of two to 12 seats placed together, at least six feet apart from the others, that must be purchased in tandem. Accordingly, TempleLive's usual 1,100 capacity will be reduced by 80% to just 229 available seats. All attendees are required to wear face masks, which will be available for purchase, and fans will have their temperature taken when they arrive at the venue.
In addition to the changes mentioned above, all beverages at the event will either come pre-packaged or have lids. The bathrooms at the concert will have a 10-person limit, and they will have no-touch soap and paper towel dispensers. Attendees will get around the building by use of walkways that only go one way, and the venue will be cleaned by a third party before the concert takes place.
Ticketmaster Seating Chart for Travis McCready's May 15 Concert
News of the concert comes after Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced earlier this week that indoor venues in the state could resume concerts on May 18. Still, the governor outlined that those venues could only open up with fewer than 50 people in attendance and that the shows would require "strict social distance among performers, contestants and members of the audience."
But TempleLive is confident that its show set for three days before the governor's guidelines can go ahead.
"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," TempleLive's Mike Brown told Billboard. "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."
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