Coronavirus pandemic’s first live concert in Arkansas served cease and desist

The Arkansas Department of Health said starting May 18th large indoor venues are allowed to reopen if they follow strict guidelines

Photo by Sergione Infuso/Corbis via Getty Images

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The first-ever socially distant concert, featuring Bishop Gunn's Travis McCready, will be served a cease and desist for defying coronavirus restrictions, the Arkansas Governor said Tuesday.

“Even if you’re going to have 250 people at a venue, you still have to have a specific plan that would be approved by the Department of Health. None of that was done in this case,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said during a news conference of the May 15 event. "You can’t just arbitrarily determine when the restrictions are lifted. That is something that is done based on a public health requirement."

The Arkansas Department of Health said last week, beginning on May 18 large indoor venues are allowed to reopen if they follow strict guidelines, including hosting events with 50 people or less, face coverings for all attendees, and arranging seats 6-feet apart to maintain social distancing. Venues that want to host larger events can operate at up to 33 percent capacity with a plan approved by the secretary of health.

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The concert was set to be held at Fort Smith, Arkansas venue Brown’s TempleLive. While the venue can seat 1,100 people, it was limiting capacity to 229 seats for the event.

Strict guidelines were planned to be enforced including mandatory face masks, temperature screenings, fog sprayers for sanitation and limited restroom capacity. Concert-goers were to be seated in “fan pods,” or clusters of two to 12 people.

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*This article has been updated to reflect that Live Nation is not affiliated with this performance.