FORT SMITH, Ark. – “So basically we’ve been punished about thinking about doing something or considering while we’re evaluating it. It’s very Minority Report and Westworld which I thought were pieces of fiction”, said TempleLive representative Mike Brown.
The Arkansas authorities Thursday, May 14, seized the liquor license of TempleLive. The venue was scheduled to have its first major rock concert since the pandemic later this evening. The day before, the Arkansas Department of Health issued them a cease-and-desist order, anticipating that the venue intended to violate state rules governing the reopening of concerts.
“They knew in advance that this was the target date,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “They’ve proceeded on with this in violation of the directive.”
During their press conference, Mike Brown said the concert would be moved to May 18 “against our will.” TempleLive has since rescheduled the show featuring Travis McCready, a country-rock singer. Mike Brown said tickets for the Friday, May 15, show would be honored on Monday, May 18.
The promoters said they had been told the permit would be returned now that they have canceled the May 15 show.
However, TempleLive isn’t done fighting. John Scott, the legal counsel for the venue, said taking legal action against the state isn’t off the table.
During Gov. Hutchinson’s 1:30 p.m. COVID-19 press conference Friday, May 15, said TempleLive has submitted a new plan to reopen.
Dr. Smith, Director and State Health Officer for the Arkansas Department of Health, indicated enough had been changed in the new proposal to allow the state to approve and for them to move forward.