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Arkansas has announced it will host is first 'socially distanced' concert next week, which may be one of the first live performances to take place in the country since the coronavirus outbreak.

Travis McCready, the singer of country-rock band Bishop Gunn, will perform an 'intimate acoustic set' in Fort Smith at the TempleLive venue where attendees will be seated at least six feet apart, will be required to wear face masks, and will have their temperature taken at the door.

The seats will be assigned per grouping of 'fan pods' and tickets of the pods are limited between two to 12 seats to avoid mingling across groups.

The concert will only be open to 229 guests, reducing the 1,100-person capacity by 80 percent to maintain social distancing.

However, the concert is scheduled for May 15, three days before Gov. Asa Hutchinson is allowing live music venues with fewer than 50 attendees to reopen on May 18.

Arkansas has scheduled its first 'socially distanced' concert next week, which is believed to be the first concert since the coronavirus pandemic hit the US. Travis McCready (above)  of country-rock band Bishop Gunn will perform at the TempleLive venue in Fort Smith on May 15

The TempleLive venue will be filled at 20 percent capacity with 229 guests, all attendees will be placed six feet apart and will be required to wear masks

TempleLive says it's confident that they can go on with the show even though it's slated to take place before the governor's directive takes effect.

'We actually just got off a conversation with the state health department. The governor has gone a great job with his administration and how he has handled this,'Temple Live's Mike Browd told Billboard.

'If you are a church, there are no restrictions on how many people you can have inside as long as they follow CDC guidelines and stay six feet apart. So our position is, a public gathering is a public gathering regardless of the reason, whether you are going to go to a quilting event, a church or a concert. Tell me the difference, because in our opinion it is discriminatory.

'We've got a lot of time and there is an open line of communication and I am the eternal optimist. I think we will be alright,' Brown added.

TempleLive says fog sprayers will also be used to sanitize the venue before and after the event and bathrooms will be limited to 10 people at a time.   





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The concert is scheduled for May 15, three days before Gov. Asa Hutchinson is allowing live music venues with fewer than 50 attendees to reopen on May 18. Gig officials say the governor will likely allow the show to go on once he hears about their safety measures

In Arkansas there are over 3,500 cases of the virus and 85 deaths. People who lost their jobs pictured in line while practicing social distancing at the Arkansas Workforce Center on Fayetteville on April 6

Arkansas has already begun to open in phrases. Restaurants and salons are open at limited capacity and concerts can take place on May 18 under social distancing rules

Arkansas has already begun to open in phrases. 

On Monday gyms and fitness centers resumed operations and hair salons opened on Wednesday. The Governor says that restaurants can be opened for limited dine-in service on May 1 at a third of their normal capacity and groups cannot be larger than 10 people.

On Monday Hutchinson said that places of worship, while encouraged to use online platforms, can have in-person events following guidelines of six feet of social distancing and face coverings for everyone over the age of 10.

Also on Monday he said that indoor concert venues could resume live shows on May 18.

'We are attempting to move past the restrictions that have been necessary during this pandemic, but we must do so in a manner that is based on solid data,' Hutchinson said in a release. 

'I am confident this measured reopening is the best approach that will allow us to enjoy these entertainment venues again. As we cautiously emerge from this difficult time, we will keep an eye on data for any evidence that we are moving too quickly.'

In Arkansas there are over 3,500 cases of the virus and 87 deaths.

Hutchinson's decision to allow live concerts to take place comes after Missouri Governor Mike Parson allowed for concerts to be held in the state from Monday May 4, a move that has been condemned by some of Missouri's major cities including St. Louis and Kansas City.

So far at least 38 states have begun reopening efforts, most of them in phrases as the national COVID-19 toll hits over 1.2million and over 72,000 fatalities. 

Here is a breakdown of where each state is with current lockdown measures, total number of cases and deaths and their reproduction rate of COVID-19:

Partially reopening 


Cases: 8,454 - Deaths: 337

Alabama's current infection spread rate is 0.88, which means it is among the states that appears to have managed to transmission of the virus.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced the state had lifted a stay-home order and replaced it with a 'safer-at-home order' effective from April 30. People are encouraged, but are no longer required, to stay home. The updated order expires May 15.

Alabama's employers and retail stores are allowed to reopen from April 30 at a reduced 50 percent capacity. Beaches will reopen but residents have to adhere to social distancing, including not gathering in groups of 10 or more.

High risk business including theaters, night clubs, fitness centers, barber shops, hair and nail salons will remain closed. Bars and restaurants can only have takeaway or curbside pickup.


Cases: 371 - Deaths: 9

Alaska's current secondary rate of infection is at 0.83, which is below the 1.0 Rt rate where cases start to slow. It is among the states that appear to have stopped the spread but has a higher variable rate (red shaded area) - meaning that it is not completely certain it has stopped the spread.

Starting April 24, officials in Alaska allowed dine-in service at restaurants and reopening of retailers, personal care services and other businesses, with limitations.

Under the new rules, restaurants will reopen but are limited to 25 percent capacity and there must be 10 feet between tables and only family members can be seated at the same table.

Salons in Alaska may only accept customers by appointment.

The state in April decided there would be no in-person classes for K-12 students for the rest of the academic year.


Cases 9,707 - Deaths 426

Arizona appears to have limited the spread of coronavirus with a 0.91 secondary infection rate. Infections have been increasing in the state throughout the pandemic.

Small retailers reopened May 4 with curbside, delivery or appointment-based services.

They will be allowed to welcome customers inside with social distancing starting May 8.

Gov. Doug Ducey otherwise extended his stay-home order until May 15.

He's working with restaurants on how to eventually reopen dining rooms safely, but there's no set timetable.


Cases: 3,525 - Deaths: 87 

Arkansas has lowered the spread of coronavirus and currently has a 0.86 rate of secondary infection.

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