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How Hobart, Indiana Plans To Pull Off A Concert Amid A Pandemic

CBS Chicago logoCBS Chicago 6/12/2020 Syndicated Local – CBS Chicago
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HOBART, Ind. (CBS) — Concerts and music fests are getting canceled left and right in Chicago, but in Northwest Indiana, one music fest says the show must go on Labor Day weekend.

CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas drove to Hobart to learn how they plan to pull off a music fest in a pandemic.

Today, the site is an empty football field known as the Brickie Bowl. But Tyrus Joseforsky expects about 3,000 people to show up on Sept. 5 for the Hometown Country Jam.

Performers will include Lee Brice, Dylan Schneider, and Julia Cole.

Joseforsky is planning the concert with his Flight Levelz Entertainment Company.

“When COVID hit, everything went on hold, so we were kind of in limbo of when our permits were going to get approved,” Joseforsky said, “and they were just approved on Monday, so we’re ecstatic.”

The approval came from the State of Indiana.

Joseforsky said the staff will wear masks, and as of now, the plan is to encourage, but not require, masks for fans.

He said people will be able to spread out across the field and the bleachers and organizers will try to space out lines – not just for food or beer, but also the lines to get into the concert itself.

“I think what we’ve seen across Indiana is if you give people a little guidance, they tend to follow it – more recommendations,” Joseforsky said. “If you tell people what to do or force people what to do, they get mad and angry.”

Joseforsky said during the show, there will be hand sanitizing stations on the field, and the bathrooms will be sanitized.

When asked if he was worried about an outbreak of coronavirus at the concert, Hobart Mayor Brian Snedecor said, “I think we always exercise due caution.”

Snedecor said the city is in close contact with local and state health departments.

“We take it very serious, but we also understand that people if they use good common sense and safety, life needs to go on,” the mayor said.

Back in Chicago, nearly every major concert for the summer has been officially postponed or canceled.

McNicholas asked Joseforsky if he is worried about people flocking to Hobart for their music fix.

“Could we have people from Illinois? Absolutely,” he said. “But that’s not gonna keep us from our mission of keeping people spaced out. If we have to cap capacity, we will.”

There is no definite answer yet on when that cap would come. But Joseforsky said if ticket sales get over 3,000, it will be discussed.

Joseforsky said the venue can usually fit about 10,000.

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