Sandy Springs will open up its first City Green Live concert later this month to everyone with no mask or social distancing requirements. 

The decision at an April 6 City Council meeting follows Gov. Brian Kemp’s ending of many COVID-19 restrictions but ignores Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that still recommend wearing masks and spreading out.

The City Council chose to open the free April 30 concert to everyone and abandoned a previous plan to limit the number of tickets and socially distanced “pods” to follow CDC guidelines.

The crowd at a 2019 “City Green Live” concerts at City Springs. (File)

City Councilmember Andy Bauman said he might be in the minority but he thought this concert at City Springs at 1 Galambos Way – with Drivin N Cryin performing – will be the city’s coming-out party. So the city should err on the side of caution and follow CDC guidelines.

Other council members agreed but suggested opening the concerts to all. Bauman was the sole vote against reopening without the precautions.

“It sounds like I’m outvoted, but let’s be very clear we’re going to be the first city that I know of to do an unlimited event,” he said. “Even the Braves have announced… that they’re going to still be 33% for their first homestand this weekend and then 50% for their second homestand.”

Councilmember Chris Burnett said he believes it’s time to let people start living again.

“I’m amazed at how much activity there is in our own city right now and I think people are hungry to get back to living again. As long as people use good judgement, I think it’s safe for us to proceed,” he said.

City staff offered three options for the public, outdoor concerts. The first was to stick with 6 feet of social distancing between “pods” of concertgoers, using tickets already handed out. Everyone would have been required to wear masks, also. The second option would have added tables, but not really more people despite moving groups of people closer together as the tables take up most of the “extra” room by dropping spacing to 3 feet.

The third option proposed was accepted by all council members except Bauman. It eliminates social distancing and masks.

Gates open at 5 p.m. on April 30 at City Green, with the concert starting at 7:30 p.m.

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.