TempleLive, the Arkansas concert venue that scheduled a post-lockdown show for tonight, has now called off the gig following pushback from the governor and health officials. The planned concert featuring Bishop Gunn frontman Travis McCready made headlines for the strict safety measures put in place by the venue, including a reduced capacity, face mask requirements, temperature screenings and controlled bathroom use.
However, Governor Asa Hutchinson said this week the show was not approved by the state, citing its May 15 date which falls three days before the the state authorizes concert venues to reopen. Hutchinson warned the venue that the Arkansas Department of Health would issue a cease and desist order to stop the show, while the state’s Alcohol Beverage Control removed the liquor license for not complying with state law.
“At the end of the day, we fought the law and the laws won,” TempleLive Vice President Mike Brown said during a news conference Thursday.
The venue has submitted an application to reschedule the show for May 18, the first day Arkansas concerts are legally permitted to resume. Representatives also claimed that their liquor license would be reinstated upon announcing the show would not go forward on its original date but hopes to host the show on Monday.
TempleLive may need to change their original plan for approval from the health department. The Travis McCready concert was to be open to only 229 patrons, or about 20 percent of the venue’s total capacity. However, the state’s directive states that venues can accommodate 50 people starting May 18.
“Even if you are going to have 250 people at a venue, you still have to have a specific plan that would be approved by the Department of Health. None of that was done in this case. It is out of time,” Hutchinson commented earlier this week. “You can’t just arbitrarily determine when the restrictions are lifted. That is something that is done based upon a public health requirement.”
Lance Beaty, president of TempleLive’s owner Beaty Capital Group, dismissed the legal action taken against the venue. He noted that the cease and desist order was stepping on constitutional rights and argued that the venue was treated unfairly.
“Governor, we’ll move the show,” Beaty said. “I hope you’re happy.”