Coronavirus Coverage from KARK

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra requiring proof of vaccination, masks for in-person performances


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Classic music lovers in Little Rock will soon have to mask up and get their proof of vaccination ready before the lights dim and the music begins.

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (ASO) will require attendees to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 before attending in-person performances beginning September 1.

Subscribers, members, and single ticket holders can show proof of vaccination by presenting a physical vaccination card, a photograph of their vaccination card or digital confirmation of vaccination along with a government-issued ID.

ASO CEO Christina Littlejohn says this action comes after a growing number of symphony orchestras across the country have added the requirement.

“We are thrilled to share the upcoming 2021–2022 season with our community beginning with our free concert at the Robinson Center on September 16, but recognizing the current surge in cases, we want to ensure we are doing so responsibly and prioritizing the health and safety of our audiences, performers and symphony staff,” Littlejohn said. “We consider the Robinson Center to be our home and want our guests to be able to celebrate this music together safely.”

ASO live performance attendees will also be required to wear masks, unless eating or drinking, in accordance with City of Little Rock guidelines.

Additional COVID-19 safety measures for ASO performances at Robinson Center include:

  • Reduced contact for ticketed entry.
  • Improved air circulation with the installation of HVAC ionization systems which provide 99.4% reduction of the virus within 30 minutes.
  • Enhanced and frequent sanitization of high-traffic surfaces.
  • Additional hand sanitizing stations across the campus.

ASO musicians will also be providing proof of vaccination or a recent negative test before participating in performances.

In recent weeks more live music venues have begun instituting the requirement, with the latest being Walmart AMP in Rogers for the upcoming Counting Crows and Dave Matthews Band concerts. Singer Jason Isbell announced before his August 14 Little Rock concert at First Security Amphitheater that if the same requirements were not made, he would not play the venue.

While the actions are being taken in mostly public music venues, no word yet on other sporting and entertainment outlets on future plans on moving toward the requirement.

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