INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The first concert at newly renamed Gainbridge Fieldhouse kicked off Friday night with country duo Dan + Shay.
The concert also marked the first event at the Fieldhouse with no COVID-19 restrictions. There were no rules for attendees related to masks, social distancing or capacity.
Country music fans by the dozens filed into Gainbridge to see the country duo. “I really didn’t even think about it coming here that this is going to be our first event but I am excited,” said concertgoer Skylar Maddox.
For many, the concert was their first big event at full capacity without masks during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I mean, you still see people that are walking in with masks, and it is just like ‘Which one is the normal way to do it now?'” said concertgoer Andie Herald.
Indianapolis has hosted two full capacity Colts games at Lucas Oil Stadium without restriction, and, so far, no reports of a major spread of COVID.
Dr. Jerome Adams, WISH-TV’s medical expert and a former U.S. surgeon general, said Friday, “As a health provider, I have concerns about these large events, but we also know that we eventually have got to try to learn to live with this virus, and part of living with this virus is looking at our background rates.”
Adams says given Marion County’s “reasonable” positivity rate and vaccination rate that is slowly rising, the layered protections make Colts games, concerts and other large events safer.
“So if you are going to go to this event, please, please consider getting vaccinated if you are going to go to a Colts game or to a concert. Please make sure you are wearing a mask when you are in close proximity to other people especially if you’re unvaccinated,” Adams said.
The latest report from Marion County Public Health Department shows a 9.2% seven-day positivity rate and a 49.4% vaccination rate amongst the population.
“I am pretty comfortable with it. I am vaccinated I feel comfortable. I am excited,” said Maddox who is fully vaccinated.
“It feels like I have less of a chance to get sick,” said Herald who is fully vaccinated.
While they were excited for a night of fun with no restrictions and good music worry still lingered in the back of some concertgoers’ minds.
“Sometimes I get kind of scared because I like don’t want to be quarantined from school because you miss so much so I am like a little nervous but it will still be really fun,’ said Jill Hile, concertgoer.
There are still some venues that have some requirements related to COVID-19.
Live Nation is requiring all spectators that come to its venues and festivals to have proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test starting Oct. 4 to be allowed into the venue. Locations in Indiana include Ruoff Music Center, Old National Centre and White River State Park.