Health experts be damned, a venue in Fort Smith, Arkansas has announced the first official concert since lockdown began in the United States in mid-march. Country rock artist Travis McCready, known for his work in Bishop Gunn, will be taking the stage at TempleLive on May 15th.
Ticketmaster is officially selling tickets to the concert. The venue, typically with a capacity of 1,100 people will be reduced to 229 seats, separated into what Ticketmaster is calling "fan pods." Ticketmaster will be selling tickets in groups of two to twelve and then distancing those seats at least six feet from other concert goers.
All attendees will be required to wear face masks, and have their temperature taken upon entry. Face masks will be sold at the event for attendees who do not bring any. Concessions will be served in sealable containers and cups. Bathrooms will be limited to 10 people at a time.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson launched a directive limiting pblic gatherings at 50 people. The directive would go into effect on May 18th, which is three days after this concert is scheduled. Ticketmaster has the concert listed on their website.
Arkansas has had over 3,500 cases of coronavirus confirmed, with 83 deaths, but their testingArkansas' neighbor, Missouri allowed concerts and live entertainment to resume earlier this week, on Monday, May 4th, although many local cities like St. Louis still have lockdown procedures in place barring live events.
Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe spoke about how metal shows won't really work in the age of social distancing, in a recent interview with the Vox & Hops podcast
"As far as how shows will be in the future, I don't know if there will be shows until we can have shows normally — in general, for anyone. Because I don't think — let's be realistic; let's be 100 percent realistic — I don't think a bunch of metalheads or punk rock kids or hardcore kids, when they all go to a show, if there's gonna be social distancing, any band starts playing, that social distancing shit's gonna go out the window. It's, like, 'It's time to mosh, motherfucker.' You know what I mean? That's not gonna work for us, bro — that's just not gonna work.
"Can you imagine how weird it would be? I remember seeing Testament and Slayer in, like, fuck, maybe '90, I think it was — '90 or '91; they were on tour together. And they played this venue in Richmond called The Mosque, and it was all seated. It's this beautiful theater and it's all seated. And I was, like, 'This is not gonna work, man.' And sure enough… They had security guards going up in the aisles and trying to keep it calm. But, nah, man — chairs got fucked up. That's not how you do it. And what am I gonna say to the audience? 'Everybody, stand really still. Don't touch anyone. This next song is called 'Walk With Me In Hell'. Two meters, please.' It's not gonna work for Lamb of God, bro. So it's, like, holy fuck.
"I think it would be a mistake to try and have a fucking metal show and space restrictions. What the fuck, man? That just wouldn't do — wouldn't do at all.
"Another thing that fans need to remember is this isn't our decision [as to when we can go back on the road]. And it varies state to state, province to province, municipality to municipality. Local governments have different rules. Everybody thinks that, well, we can just go on tour, and this is how we're gonna do it. No, man. We have to be granted a license to play a show."
Would you hit up a socially distant concert?