News broke earlier this week about a “socially distant” Travis McCready concert planned for this week in Fort Smith, Arkansas, which flouted state capacity laws despite reduced ticket sales and required mask-wearing. That concert sounded like a bad idea—no one should risk their lives to see Travis McCready—and it sounds like the state health department will shut it down.
According to ABC News, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said on Tuesday that the health department would issue a cease and desist to venue TempleLive, which plans to host the show. The state plans to reopen indoor concert venues on May 18, provided they keep capacity under 50 people. The McCready concert is scheduled for May 15 and is expected to host 229 people (in a 1,100-capacity venue, but still).
Hutchinson told reporters:
It’s out of time. Can you imagine what reaction we would have had across Arkansas if we set the date for May 11 to open up restaurants but a bunch of them just decided to do that on May 5? You can’t just arbitrarily determine when the restrictions are lifted. That is something that is done based upon a public health requirement.
So (probably) bad news for people hoping to see Travis McCready live, though (probably) good news for people who planned to see Travis McCready live and may avoid contracting covid-19. Not that there shouldn’t be a plan for concert venues at some point in the future if we expect social distancing to last for over a year, but considering most states are reopening too quickly—and Arkansas’s cases are still rising—this is not it.