Here’s what the first socially-distanced concert looked like

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No mosh pits here.

America’s first socially-distanced concert took place Monday night in Arkansas with masked concertgoers sitting in chairs arranged six feet apart watching Bishop Gunn frontman Travis McCready’s performance.

The show offered a window into post-pandemic life: Held at the TempleLive in Fort Smith, several measures were put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including cutting capacity down from 1,100 to 229 people, reports the New York Times. Concertgoers were also required to wear face masks and have their temperatures taken before entering.


Photos from the event show fans seated in clusters, which promoters called “fan pods,” with a safe distance between other groups. When moving around the venue, guests were required to walk in designated one-way lanes, which were manned by concert ushers wearing masks. Bathrooms also had limited occupancy, with just 10 people allowed in at one time.

Despite being at just 20% capacity, the entire TempleLive staff of 30 worked the concert to ensure social distancing measures were followed. Concession stands were helmed by separate teams of bartenders — one handling money and the other handling beverages — and all drinks were required to have lids.

The concert was originally slated for May 15, which was three days before Arkansas was able to officially reopen venues. Promoters wanted the show to go on, according to the Times, but after being hit with a cease-and-desist order, decided to reschedule the concert for Monday.

Videos showed concertgoers mostly sitting quietly as the music played on, but fans were excited to emerge from lockdown.

“Reserving our right to rock n’ roll,” one fan posted on Instagram wearing a TempleLive-branded mask.





By Nadine DeNinno

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