As tensions ramp up in the days leading to a concert scheduled for May 15 at Fort Smith’s Temple Live, the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Division has suspended the venue’s permit, contingent on its cancelation/postponement of the show. Governor Hutchinson said in the May 12 installment of his daily coronavirus briefings that the Arkansas Department of Health would order a cease and desist to Temple Live for the event. KFSM-TV Channel 5 reported the following day that the venue stated it would proceed despite those orders. Last night, Temple Live sent out a press release stating the venue would hold a press conference today at 1 p.m. to address the conflict.
“Each permit holder must operate within the guidelines and directives established by the Arkansas Department of Health,” the ABC’s Scott Hardin said in today’s statement. “Temple Live is publicly announcing intentions to violate these standards, which will endanger public health and safety. As a result, ABC Director Doralee Chandler today issued an immediate permit suspension order to Temple Live. An ABC hearing has been set for June 3. Following the hearing, ABC will determine whether the permit will remain suspended. Should Temple Live provide public confirmation that the concert scheduled for May 15 will not proceed, the permit will be returned.”
From the ABC’s ex parte order:
EX PARTE ORDER FOR IMMEDIATE SUSPENSION
AND NOTICE OF HEARING
The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Administration received the following allegations on the above-named Alcoholic Beverage Control Permit holder:
You were presented with a Cease and Desist Order from the Arkansas State Board of Health and the Arkansas Department of Health instructing you to cease plans to continue your May 15, 2020 large indoor event. Your determination to proceed with your event is in violation of Section 1.79(7), a Class C violation, and Section
1.79(32), a Class A violation.
Pursuant to Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Rules and Regulations, Section 1.47, it is found that emergency action is required. This business is not operating in the public interest, and poses a danger to the public’s health, safety and welfare. For these reasons, Permit No. 04583, Large Attendance Facility, held by Francisco Bautista, doing business as Temple Live, LLC, is suspended immediately, pending a hearing in the allegations listed above.
It is further found, pursuant to A.C.A. § 3-4-301 and A.C.A. § 3-2-205 that the A.B.C. Director has the power and the authority to levy SUSPENSIONS against permitted outlets for violations of the A.B.C. Regulations. It is further found that the public safety, health and welfare imperatively requires emergency summary suspension of the permit in accordance with Section 1.47 of the A.B.C. Regulations.
It is therefore ORDERED that Permit No. 04583 is hereby SUSPENDED EX PARTE.
A hearing will be held in the Fifth Floor Conference Room of the 1515 Building at 1515 West 7th Street in Little Rock, Arkansas, on June 3, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. and will be for the purpose of determining whether the permit should be revoked.
Upon public confirmation that the event will not proceed on May 15, 2020 in violation of the Cease and Desist Order from the Arkansas State Board of Health and the Arkansas Department of Health the permit will be returned.
Here’s what venue owner Mike Brown had to say last week about his view of the closure lifts as discriminatory, and about the logistics the venue intended to employ for the concert.