Are “fan pods” the future of concerts?

The first post-quarantine concert is Travis McCready in Arkansas – and an extensive list of COVID-19 protocols will be in place

It’s going to be quite awhile before concerts happen in Toronto again, but in some parts of the United States, where COVID-19 restrictions are being loosened, live music is already seeing a tentative return.

On May 15, the first non-livestream concert in North America in close to two months will happen in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Country-rock singer Travis McCready, frontman of the band Bishop Gunn, will play a solo acoustic show at the venue Temple Live. 

The venue’s website lists its extensive COVID-19 operating protocol for the show. The venue will operate at 20 per cent capacity, from 1,100 to 229. The space will have one-way walkways, the venue will be sanitized via “fog sprayers,” soap and paper towel dispensers will be no-touch, masks will be available for purchase and every attendee will have their temperature taken when entering the venue. Food and drink will all be prepackaged or have lids.

travis mcready covid-19 concert guidelines.png

Most intriguingly and most reminiscent of the dystopia Love Is Blind predicted just months ago, Ticketmaster says attendees will be separated into “fan pods,” rows of two to 12 tickets sold in groups at least six feet apart. 

Could this be a glimpse into the near future of live music?

UPDATE (5/11): An earlier version of this story reported that Live Nation was putting on the concert. It is not. NOW regrets the error. 


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