Country singer Travis McCready will hold the first socially-distanced concert in Arkansas on Friday, according to Rolling Stone. However, the publication noted that the state government of Arkansas has yet to approve this move. It should also be noted that McCready's concert would be held three days before concerts are officially allowed to resume in the state.
McCready, who fronts the band Bishop Gunn, will potentially host his concert on May 15 at TempleLive in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Those behind the show will do their best to make sure that safety protocols are in place for the potential event, as they will implement "fan pod" seating to make sure that fans can keep a safe, six-feet distance from one another to adhere to social distancing measures. Even though they said that safety protocols would be in place, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that McCready's concert does not have the state's approval. Hutchinson said in a statement, "We've looked at their plan, and their plan is insufficient. That concert does not have our approval. It would happen three days before the authorized date, and it has a few other problems."
Hutchinson previously expressed that venues should limit their audiences to 50 individuals or less. McCready's concert will reportedly have 229 fans in attendance in the 1,000 seat venue, per Deadline. Even though they have not received approval from the state government, the concert will go on as planned. In a statement, TempleLive, the venue in which McCready's show will take place, revealed that the event would go on as scheduled.
"In response to Governor Hutchinson's comments today, TempleLive currently plans to conduct the Travis McCready concert at its Fort Smith, Arkansas, venue on Friday, May 15th, as scheduled," TempleLive's statement read, in part. "The COVID-19 precautions and practices established by TempleLive have accumulated interest from other entertainment establishments and are being adopted and implemented worldwide. We believe that the 'Fan-Pod' seating model along with other innovative safety protocols that have been adopted by TempleLive create a safe and comfortable environment, and are the next logical steps in bringing live entertainment back to the stage."
It is unclear how the state government will respond to this decision. McCready himself has not responded to this news as of yet. Given Hutchinson's statement and previously established guidelines for concerts in Arkansas amidst the coronavirus pandemic, it is also unclear whether this concert will be able to take place at all.