FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson isn’t yet permitting large gatherings, but that’s not stopping a River Valley venue from planning a concert in May.

From what we can tell this is the first announced live show in the country since we were all shut down from COVID-19.


On Friday, May 15, Travis McCready of Bishop Gunn is supposed to perform a concert at TempleLive in Fort Smith.

Mike Brown, with the River Valley venue, said in order to have McCready play, TempleLive had to reduce its capacity by 80%.

“Our capacity is 1,100 and we’ve scaled it down to 229 to meet CDC recommendations for social distancing,” he said.

That’s not the only change TempleLive is making.

The venue has also implemented one-way walk-ways, all seating is spaced into clusters 6-feet apart, and temperatures of all attendees will be taken before they enter the building.

“That group would have to be the people that you’ve been home with, your family members, or someone that you’re comfortable being in that 6-foot social distance space,” Brown said.

Although coming to a concert might be a little different, Brown said the show must go on.

“Ultimately they’re going to choose whether or not to come and I’m okay with either decision, but for those folks that do want to come out, I think this will be a safe option for them,” he said.

Just like every business, TempleLive has also taken a financial hit due to COVID-19, but Brown said you can’t put a price tag on the experience you get when watching a live show — even despite the circumstances.

“The financial side of it is not something we’re really concerned with, we wanted to give something back to the community,” he said. “This is not a thing to make money with, but it is a step back towards more normalcy and best practices that we can institute.”

If Governor Asa Hutchinson doesn’t approve venues to open by the concert date, Brown said they will just have to regroup and come up with another plan.

“We’ll just have to cross that bridge when we get to it because we’re still a little over two weeks out from the date of this event,” he said.

We just had to think forward to getting back to some sort of normalcy because music and entertainment is a big part of people’s lives.


Below is a list of all of TempleLive’s COVID-19 changes, according to its website:

  • Capacity reduced by 80% from 1,100 to 229.
  • Venue will be sanitized prior to each event via fog sprayers.
  • Masks will be available for purchase if desired.
  • Per CDC guidelines, one-way walk-ways in theater managed by TempleLive employees.
  • 6-feet of separation from all seating groups or fan pods.
  • 10 person limit in all restrooms.
  • All soap and paper towel dispensers will be no-touch.
  • Closure of bathroom fixtures to maintain 6-feet of distance during use.
  • Temperatures of attendees to be taken at entry points.
  • All beverages will be prepackaged or have lids.
  • TempleLive employees will be actively wiping down touchpoints in venue and restrooms.

For more information, click here.