Leisure district to host live shows as pandemic permits

Visit Hot Springs will spin the new downtown entertainment district with four live music block party events every Thursday in June, if the pandemic allows.

Bridge Street LIVE! will have a different live band every Thursday.

The entertainment program includes:

• June 3rd – Memphis Soul Review plays Memphis Rock and Soul.

• June 10th – Arkansauce, a bluegrass band.

• June 17th – The Irie Lions play reggae.

• June 24th – Funkytown plays Memphis Funk.

The events are free and open to the public. Because they are within the confines of the entertainment district, beer and alcohol purchased at restaurants in the district can be carried openly.

“What we can do in the entertainment district is to allow bars and restaurants to sell beer and alcohol in a specific cup,” said event coordinator Bill Solleder. “So we have a branded Bridge Street LIVE! Mug, and they can actually buy the beer in (restaurants) or their outer tents and then walk around the entertainment district freely. Then they can go back in and go in and out of the bar while they enjoy this.” have a specific cup and which stamps or bracelets the bar needs. “

Solleder said the state department for the control of alcoholic beverages is making it easier to hold such events “every now and then”.

“Visit Hot Springs. We need to get a permit from the City of Hot Springs for a specific day (the event is scheduled to take place),” he said. “Then we get permission from the city to do this. So it’s not every day of the week or every weekend. It’s only when the city gives permission.”

Bridge Street LIVE! will be a great way to “test” the district, he said, and learn from and adapt to what they are learning.

“I’m not saying all of a sudden that we can’t open the district every weekend or all the time, but we just have to see how it goes this time and how people react to it and when it benefits everyone,” said Solleder. “We’ll see how it goes.”

Regarding the conduct of events during the COVID-19 pandemic, Solleder said, “We are all holding our breath hoping things will ease up and I think everyone understands that regardless of how we must do things safely But the reason we do when things are open in the early spring and summer, we have the opportunity to be ready to do something instead of waiting and then trying to plan something.

“We plan events and if we can’t have them because of the pandemic, we can’t.”

Although the current restrictions on large gatherings won’t change until June, he said Bridge Street LIVE! can still be held, with limited attendance and masking required.

“So I think there is a way to do this. It may mean fewer people can enjoy what we are doing at the same time, but I think it will be possible,” said Solleder.

Currently, the Arkansas Department of Health requires a submitted safety plan for major events.

“We contacted the Ministry of Health six weeks ago and they asked us to wait until March to submit the application,” said Solleder.

“The reason is because they’re so busy and secondly, we don’t know what the regs will look like this far out. Things seem to be changing pretty quickly right now, so they told us to just wait until March … I have a feeling that they will be very busy and very (carefully) moving forward and giving their approval. “

With high hopes, Solleder asks the community from now until June: “You are all doing your best to protect your guests, customers and customers so that we can get through this and get back to normal.”