One state in the US has boldly given the green light for live concerts to take place amid the coronavirus pandemic, with country-rock outfit Bishop Gun to perform at Fort Smith venue Temple Live next week.
Fort Smith is a city in Arkansas, and the socially-distanced gig will go down on May 15. There’ll be plenty of measures in place to ensure that fans remain far enough away from each other to be safe, according to the venue.
As Billboard reports, the Governor of Arkansas Asa Hutchinson announced that live venues could re-open, but that new regulation “requires strict social distance among performers, contestants, and members of the audience.”
“I am confident this measured reopening is the best approach that will allow us to enjoy these entertainment venues again,” Hutchinson said. “As we cautiously emerge from this difficult time, we will keep an eye on data for any evidence that we are moving too quickly.”
So how will it all go down? Here’s what the venue will be doing to try to try to stop the potential spread of COVID-19:
- The venue (Temple Live) will be sanitized and fogged by a third party company ahead of the event.
- Attendees will have their temperatures checked while they remain socially distant in line to get in.
- All punters attending will be required to wear masks, and there will be masks for sale. Venue staff will also be wearing masks.
- All touchpoints will constantly be wiped down by Temple Live staff.
- Ticketmaster is only selling tickets in “fan pods” which hold groups of 2-12 seas within the venue.
- The venue capacity has bee reduced by 80% and only includes 229 seats.
- All beverages served will come pre-packaged or will lids.
- All exits will have hand sanitizer stations.
“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,” Mike Brown of Temple Live told Billboard.
According to rolling data provided by The New York Times, coronavirus cases in Arkansas have been significantly lower than in epicentres like New York. At the time of writing, the state has reported 3,611 cases in total, with 87 deaths.
Closer to home, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Brendan Murphy recently ruled out the return of nightclubs and “big” festivals until a coronavirus vaccine has been developed.
Touring mogul Michael Chugg of Chugg Entertainment spoke yesterday about the chances of Splendour In The Grass being able to take place this year. At this stage, Splendour is still scheduled to take place, but has been moved back to October.
“It’s a punt, they’re taking a punt,” he said. “You know I don’t want to be negative towards Splendour or any of the festivals. We’d like to have a couple going on as well, but I think October is very ambitious.”
Falls Festival organisers are hoping that their event will go place in December and January, but aren’t counting on international flights having resumed, announcing an all-Australian lineup this week.