The Front Porch Stage has announced on their website that they will be canceling the remainder of their 2020 season due to restrictions imposed upon outdoor venues due to COVID-19.
The statement reads:
“We are so very sorry, but with the Covid-19 pandemic, the potential for increased numbers of cases, and the sanitation and other requirements imposed on groups planning to have numbers of people together for events, the Front Porch Stage Board of Directors has agreed that we must cancel all remaining events that we had scheduled for The Front Porch Stage’s 2020 Season!!! Believe us that we all are disappointed that we must take this step. Let us all hope and pray that we will be able to return in 2021.”
The Front Porch Stage had been working on an event by event basis with all previous scheduled shows being cancelled. The decision was made to cancel the remainder of the season this past week due to uncertainties regarding restrictions and rising numbers related to COVID-19.
The outdoor event was scheduled to be held every other Saturday this year, but the COVID-19 crisis has prevented the start of the season. Statewide numbers continue to rise as the state moves into Phase II of reentry. Governor Asa Hutchinson continues to attribute the rise in numbers to an increase in testing.
The Front Porch Stage is located on the courthouse square in Mount Ida and has provided free music events for almost 20 years. The stage was the brainchild of musicians and friends who were meeting on the courthouse lawn to visit and play music. The first stage was a donated flatbed trailer. Donated lumber and labor made it possible for the stage to be enclosed on the east side of the lawn. A concession stand was build on the west side as well. The first shows were held in 2001 and have been held each summer. This year is the first year the Front Porch Stage has not produced a free show for the public since its inception.
The Front Porch Stage had moved to a monthly schedule last year, but was looking to produce at least two shows a month this year. They offer free concerts which are held from May through October each year weather permitting. Acts performing country, bluegrass, blues, folk, folk rock and Gospel have shared the stage over the years.
Artists are paid each week by passing the hat during intermission. Money raised in the concession stand, souvenir sales and donations are used to support music programs in county schools.
Visit frontporchstage.org for up to date information regarding the Front Porch Stage organization and future shows.