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The Ranch in Fort Myers hosts concert at 50% capacity, first since pandemic began

Dozens of people showed up at The Ranch Concert Hall & Saloon in Fort Myers for a country music show Friday night.

It’s the first concert held at the local saloon since the coronavirus pandemic began. And while The Ranch was at limited capacity, the show was sold out. A manager at The Ranch didn’t go into detail but said the establishment followed CDC guidelines during its event.

We see employees walking around with masks on, but the venue did not require concertgoers to wear them. For people who went out to the show tonight, they told us that was enough to make them feel comfortable.

Lisa Kelley was the first one in line, 90 minutes before The Ranch doors opened. She was ready for her first country concert since the start of the coronavirus pandemic affected Southwest Florida.

“It’s exciting,” Kelley said. “We’re excited. It’s been a long three months with no concerts.”

It was the first performance for The Ranch too, a sold-out show operating at 50% capacity.

“It’s already big,” concertgoer Gretchen Schuster said. “I’ve been here when it’s sold out, and it’s still comfortable.”

Schuster came prepared, and so did others.

“I brought a mask just in case and hand sanitizer,” Schuster said. “And we’ll just see how it is inside and just be careful.”

Country music fans were greeted with temperature checks at the door. What might be the new normal works for them. We asked the manager to confirm how many concertgoers makes up 50% capacity, but she did not provide a response.

“The backyard is good with music, but this is much better,” Schuster said.

Reporter:Taylor Petras
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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