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TempleLive set to host one of the first concerts since COVID-19 pandemic

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FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A Fort Smith venue is one of the first in the country to hold a concert since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Travis McCready concert set for 8 p.m. tonight originally was supposed to go last week and owner Mike Brown aimed to stick by that despite the governor’s phase one plan listing today as the date.

After the state suspended TempleLive’s alcohol permit, Brown and management backed down.

But Brown said tonight’s concert as a potential addition to rock ‘n’ roll history considering it’s likely the first since before the outbreak.

He says other venues are seeking his advice on how to open back up.

“We’ve been contacted by a plethora of other venues around the world and we’re evaluating just how we’re gonna do that response time because we’re really looking at developing this and being able to carry it around to other venues to help them,” Brown said.

TempleLive implemented safety guidelines for concertgoers tonight.

Some concertgoers said they paid extra to attend the concert.

“I had to buy four [tickets] to sit in a certain fan pod, and it’s just me,” said Jake Lunz, one of the first ticket holders who entered the venue. “It was $112, $120 or something like that to be here tonight. Well worth it, in my opinion.”

Others said the reward outweighed the risk.

“If we can go to church, Walmart, Lowe’s, grocery store…music heals people,” said Lilisa Smiddy, who also attended.

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Aaron Nolan is a morning show co-host in Little Rock, Arkansas with Nexstar Media Group's KARK-TV. He has a passion for social media and makes it an important part of his daily routine. Click here to read Aaron's full bio.