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The US state of Arkansas has staged America’s first “socially distanced” concert, despite facing widespread controversy.

The show by Bishop Gunn frontman Travis McCready had previously faced the threat of a cease and desist order after governor Asa Hutchinson said the social distancing measures announced by the venue, TempleLive, were not compliant with health regulations.

But the show went ahead last night (May 18) after TempleLive postponed the event for three days in order to comply with the governor’s directive.

As originally planned by the venue, attendees sat in “fan pods” located six feet apart from each other as McCready delivered an acoustic solo performance. The venue’s 1,100-person maximum capacity was also reduced to 229 seats, and all attendees’ temperatures were registered upon arrival.

Fans had their temperatures registered before entering the gig (Picture: Getty)

Fans were also required to wear face masks at all times, and bathrooms were limited to 10 people at a time.

High sanitary standards were maintained at all times, with fog sprayers used to stop the spread of bacteria before and after the event.

You can check out the venue’s operating protocol in full below…


  • Capacity reduced to 239, 80% of capacity.
  • Venue Will Be Sanitised Prior To Each Event Via Fog Sprayers.
  • Masks Will Be Required For Patrons Above The Age Of Ten.
  • All Templelive Employees Will Be Required To Wear Face Coverings
  • The Performers Will Maintain A Minimum Of 12 Feet From Audience
  • Templelive Will Monitor And Maintain Physical Distancing On All Lines Inside And Outside Of The Facility
  • Hand Sanitiser Stations Will Be Available At All Entrances And Exits And Available To All Patrons
  • Required Signage Will Be Placed At All Entrances And Exits
Travis McCready and Lauren Brown perform at Arkansas’ first socially distanced gig
  • Per CDC Guidelines One Way Walk-ways In Heater Managed By Templelive Employees.
  • 6 Feet Of Separation From All Seating Groups Or Fan Pods.
  • 10 Person Limit In All Restrooms.
  • All Soap And Paper Towel Dispensers Will Be No Touch.
  • Closure Of Bathroom Fixtures To Maintain 6 Feet Of Distance During Use.
  • Temperatures Of Attendees To Be Taken At Entry Points.
  • All Beverages Will Be Prepackaged Or Have Lids.
  • Templelive Employees Will Be Actively Wiping Down Touch Points In Venue And Restrooms.

It comes after healthcare experts in the US predicted that live concerts will not return until autumn 2021, with a poll finding that most American gig-goers would rather wait until a vaccine is found until attending shows again.

In the UK, venues have spoken of their concerns and requirements if live gigs were to be allowed in the UK again under the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Elsewhere, Denmark has begun trialling drive-in concerts – with fans enjoying shows from the comfort of their own vehicles. 

The post Here’s what America’s first “socially distanced” concert looked like appeared first on NME Music News, Reviews, Videos, Galleries, Tickets and Blogs | NME.COM.


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