FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A River Valley music venue is still selling tickets for a concert despite a cease-and-desist order.
In a story KNWA/KFTA has been following for weeks — TempleLive is moving forward with a concert scheduled three days before the state is allowing indoor venues to reopen, even though Governor Asa Hutchinson threatened to take legal action if the show goes on.
“I think that common sense will prevail and that they will follow the direction of the cease-and-desist order,” Governor Hutchinson said in his COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday (May 13).
Travis McCready of Bishop Gunn is still set to take the stage at TempleLive on Friday, May 15 — three days before the state allows indoor venues to reopen.
On Tuesday (May 12) Governor Hutchinson announced the Department of Health will take legal action against the River Valley venue if it decides to move forward with the concert.
“The fundamental point is that they knew in advance that this was the target date,” he said. “They’ve proceeded on with this in violation of the directive.”
On Wednesday Mike Brown with TempleLive held a press conference in response to Governor Hutchinson’s cease-and-desist warning.
Brown asked several questions like:
- “If Travis McCready was playing music at the church two blocks from here on Friday, would it be permitted?”
- “Would there be any greater public health risk for the people in attendance at a church event than there would be here at Temple Live?”
- “Why are we not under the same guidelines, restrictions, or directives as those facilities around me?”
All of them were directed at Arkansas Department of Health’s Dr. Nate Smith.
“Obviously a place of worship is different than a concert hall,” Dr. Smith said. “There are some similarities but also some significant differences.”
KNWA/KFTA asked Brown for comment on Smith’s response.
He declined and said all of our questions should be addressed at his other press conference scheduled for Thursday, May 14.
Stay with KNWA/KFTA as we continue to follow this developing story.