The First Socially-Distanced Concert Just Happened Last Night [PHOTOS]

Well, the first socially distanced concert — that wasn’t at a drive-in — just went down last night in Arkansas. ANd compared to how concerts usually look, the turnout seemed bleak. However, with social distancing guidelines in place, the capacity of the TempleLive venue was reduced from 1,100 to 220 and 6 ft distance rules were in place for those who weren’t quarantining together. So, all told, it was a success.

The show was originally scheduled for May 15th, three days prior to the date (May 18th) the state’s governor said that venues could officially reopen. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson took action by hitting the venue with a cease-and-desist order, forcing the concert’s promoters to reschedule the gig to Monday.

Media was out in full force at the event to capture the oddities of a reduced capacity, socially-distanced concert in the COVID-19 era, and sure enough, it’s a bit eerie. Entrants were required to have their temperature taken, use separate lines for entrance and exit, and no more than 10 people could go to the bathroom at any one time.

Still, there’s no denying the hurt that both musicians and fans have felt from the absence of live events, and anything during this time would be a welcome reprieve from the monotony of lockdown.

See some photos and video of the event below.

Travis McCready は18日に、アメリカでロックダウン後初の"ソーシャルディスタンスコンサート"を開催しました。入り口で検温を行い、通路は一方通行、グループごとに距離をとってライブを鑑賞します。まるでSFの世界ですがこれは現実です。全てが元に戻る日はいったいいつになるのでしょうか??

— sin Хентай (@Sin23Ou) May 19, 2020

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Live music has a new twist: temperature checks, lots of space between fans and masks, of course! Travis McCready of the band @bishopgunnmusic and Lauren Brown performed at the first ever socially-distanced concert in Arkansas tonight. ⁠⠀ _⁠⠀ In this gallery, Travis McCready, Jody Stallone, and Robbie Helton perform on stage, Lauren Brown performs onstage and concertgoers wait in a socially-distanced line to receive temperature checks at TempleLive in Fort Smith, Arkansas. | May 18, 2020 | 📸: @KevinMazur | #GettyEntertainment #CapturingThePresent⁠⠀ _⁠⠀ Click the link in our bio for more!

A post shared by Getty Images Entertainment (@gettyentertainment) on May 18, 2020 at 9:56pm PDT

TempleLive in Fort Smith is having the "first" concert in the area since the coronavirus pandemic started. How was it? Find out tonight on 5NEWS at 10.

— 5NEWS (@5NEWS) May 19, 2020


Photo via @Sin23Ou


Marc Rebillet announces tour through drive-in theaters

Arkansas has already made the first move toward restoring concerts in a post-quarantine world, booking Bishop Gunn frontman Travis McCready for a show in Fort Smith next weekend. But as far as an actual tour is concerned, entertainer and musician Marc Rebillet is pretty sure he’s the first.




— Marc Rebillet (@marcrebillet) May 4, 2020

The improvisational musician who entertains on stage while playing music has announced a concert tour that’ll take him through five US cities next month. But there’s one catch: they’re all going to be drive-in theaters.

Of course, not ever US town has a drive-in theater — the amount that don’t probably outweighs those that do — so the cities that Rebillet can even visit are very limited. Along with the inherent social distancing built into the concept of a drive-in theater, Rebillet says other social distancing rules will be observed.

Cars at the venue will be kept apart. Guests must stay inside the cars. Staffers must wear face masks and gloves. Tickets can only be purchased online. Restrooms should be used only for emergencies. However, since trips to the restroom are to be expected, participants will be permitted to visit them by row in 15-minute intervals.

Rebillet himself plans to roam, safely while social distancing, as everyone watches through their windshields.

“It’ll be me, out there, doing a show,” he said. “Since everyone is going to be forced to be in their cars, I’ll be able to do a lot of running around, ‘interacting’ with the audience, just by doing my thing.”

“The entire live entertainment industry has just been completely paralyzed,” he said of the current state of affairs. “No one is doing anything, because we can’t. This just got me super, super excited. It’s really a beautiful idea.”

“I certainly hope that doing this at least opens up the doors to this possibility to be a reality for other bands, and other acts — I would love to see that,” Rebillet said. “I know the live music-going public would love to see that. Everyone is just f–king desperate to do something where they’re around people.”

Tickets to the Drive-In Live Tour are available now.


Arkansas Will See First Concert Since Lockdown Began

It’s been forecasted that concerts en masse won’t return until 2021, some until 2022, but Arkansas is leading the charge — some might say erroneously — and hosting one of, if not the first social-distanced concert since lockdown began in March.

Bishop Gunn frontman Travis McCready will perform in Fort Smith, Arkansas with assigned seats at least six feet apart per grouping of what Ticketmaster is calling “fan pods,” reducing the capacity of the 1,100 person venue down to just 229.

The May 15 concert will also feature other health assurances, as, according to Billboard, attendees will “have to get their temperature taken when they arrive and employees will be actively wiping down touch points in the venue and restrooms. Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, fans will be directed by venue staff through one-way walk ways to maintain socially distancing throughout the event.”

Hand sanitizer stations will be placed at every entrance and exit, as well.

“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,” Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said in a release on Monday. “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.”

While it’s unlikely that max capacity concerts will resume before a vaccine is developed, this could be a litmus test for social distanced events moving forward during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Photo via Shea Flynn Photo