It looks like America will have to wait a little longer to find out what a post-coronavirus concert looks like.
Arkansas authorities are threatening to close Temple Live in Fort Smith, Arkansas, which has been promoting a show by Travis McCready of Southern Rock band Bishop Gunn on Friday May 15 – three days ahead of the state’s benchmark for lifting a ban on indoor events of its kind.
Arkansas Online reports that Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson will block the event with a cease-and-desist order.
Arkansas is planning to lift the ban on indoor events with more than 50 people on May 18, but the McCready concert was selling 229 tickets for seats scattered in “pods” throughout the arena in what promoter Temple Live claimed was an attempt to abide by social distancing guidelines inside a 1,100 seat venue. The unusual seating arrangement was captured in TicketMaster’s map of available seating:
Without going into detail, Hutchinson called the unusual seating arrangement and other measures including mandatory masks and limits on bathroom capacity insufficient. “That concert does not have our approval three days before the authorized date as well as a few other problems.”
As of Wednesday morning, Temple Live is still selling tickets to the event and the parent company of Temple Live responded to Hutchinson’s statement by claiming that their “counsel continues to be engaged in discussions with the state.”