The return of concerts in the age of coronavirus is happening soon in certain regions and comes with an extensive list of health and safety measures put into place. TempleLive in Fort Smith, Arkansas will host one of the state’s first post-lockdown concerts when Travis McCready headlines the venue May 15, and organizers are prepared for the task by implementing strict new safety and sanitary rules.
According to the event’s listing on Ticketmaster, concert safety measures will see the venue reduce its seating capacity by 80 percent to now only accommodate 229 patrons rather than a full 1,100. The style of limited checkerboard seating is in store as well with entire rows left vacant between each other to ensure at least six feet of distance between groups of fans.
The entire venue will be cleaned via a third party vendor conducting fog spray sanitizing prior to each event and fans will have their temperature screened before entering. Once in the venue, fans and staffers are required to wear protective masks, which will be available for purchase. Aisles within the venue will be one-way in accordance with CDC guidelines, and all beverages available for sale will either be pre-packaged or have lids.
Further measures will be taken in bathroom areas to prevent the spread of germs. Venue bathrooms are to hold no more than ten patrons at a time, with some fixtures closed off to maintain a six-foot distance between patrons. All hand towel and soap dispensers will be no-touch and staffers will actively clean touch points in bathrooms and throughout the building.
While these steps may hit the key points recommended by health officials to ensure safety, consumers are skeptical about putting them into practice. When sports business analyst Darren Rovell shared the concert safety rules for McCready’s Arkansas show with his two million Twitter followers, he garnered several responses from fans finding flaws in the guidelines.
Twitter user @brucemwarren noted that asymptomatic individuals would not be detected via temperature screenings, while user @BogeyManRehny questioned how the sale of beverages would even come into play given that fans are required to keep their faces covered. Others pointed out the revenue impact of a reduced-capacity show.
Temperature doesn't get the asymptomatic but go on Arkansas.
— Bruce Warren (@brucemwarren) May 5, 2020
How does one drink something with a mask on?
— Kyle Rehnstrom (@BogeyManRehny) May 5, 2020
These concerns have been expressed nationwide, with a new survey showing Americans would rather wait for a coronavirus vaccine to be developed before attending concerts and other mass gatherings.