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Governor Of Arkansas Vows ‘Consequences’ If Venue Proceeds With Socially Distant Concert On Friday

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ARKANSAS (CelebrityAccess) – Fort Smith, Arkansas venue Brown’s TempleLive could be facing serious consequences for defying pandemic restrictions if it goes forward with the State’s first-ever socially distant concert, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday.

The concert is slated to take place this Friday (May 15) – three days before the State is allowing indoor entertainment venues to reopen – and is expected to feature a performance from country-rock singer Travis McCready.

Though the State has ordered the venue to cancel or postpone the concert, Brown’s TempleLive operators have yet to back down.

The Arkansas Department of Health announced last week that theaters, arenas, and other indoor entertainment venues would be allowed to reopen May 18 if they follow strict guidelines, including hosting events with 50 people or less, face coverings for all attendees, and arranging seats 6-feet apart to maintain social distancing. While the State indicated that venues that wished to hold larger functions could potentially operate at one-third of their capacity, they would be required to submit a plan that is approved by the State beforehand.

Brown’s TempleLive can seat 1,100 people, however, it says it is planning to limit capacity to 229 seats for the event, and implement mandatory face masks, temperature screenings, fog sprayers for sanitation, and limited restroom capacity to ensure the safety of all concert-goers.

“Even if you’re 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,” Hutchinson said during a press conference on Tuesday. “You can’t just arbitrarily determine when the restrictions are lifted. That is something that is done based on a public health requirement.

“We expect the law to be complied with. That would be disappointing and obviously that would encounter some consequences if that’s the direction they pursue.”

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