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TempleLive to stick with May 15 concert; Gov. Hutchinson said the event ‘violates our directives’

On Friday, the governor noted that TempleLive promoters were “really trying to make an effort, a very stringent effort, to try to socially distance, to wear masks.”
Credit: TempleLive

FORT SMITH, Ark. — Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Monday (May 11) a concert at TempleLive in Fort Smith is in violation of state guidelines for reopening indoor venues and has not been approved. 

TempleLive officials say they are sticking to the May 15 concert date.

TempleLive, operating in the former Masonic Temple in downtown Fort Smith, announced April 23 that singer-guitarist Travis McCready, formerly with the Southern Rock Band Bishop Gunn, will perform an acoustic set at 8 p.m. on May 15. 

The concert has gained national attention with publications addressing the conflict between TempleLive and state health officials including Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and Bloomberg.

On May 4, Gov. Hutchinson announced that large indoor venues could begin to reopen May 18, three days after the scheduled concert. 

Some of the Arkansas Department of Health guidelines for reopening large indoor and outdoor venues include a 12-foot distance between performers and audience, 50 or fewer performers/players/contestants, audience of 50 or fewer people, every other row should be unoccupied, face coverings for all attendees over 10 years of age, and no entry if having a recent fever or other symptoms.

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