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On Sunday, Feb. 14, the Appalachian Wireless Arena kicked off its concert season with its first show in quite some time, as the facility welcomed Travis Tritt to give Eastern Kentuckians an extra special Valentine’s gift.

This Valentine’s Day, Travis Tritt’s call for somebody who cares landed in the right place, as the Appalachian Wireless Arena kicked off its concert season with a solo acoustic performance from the country music legend.

The concert was the first in quite some time for the arena and kicked off the facility’s upcoming concert season and, according to Appalachian Wireless Arena Senior Director of Marketing Josh Kesler, the arena has already seen a positive reaction from the season’s kickoff show.

According to Kesler, the arena was set up to hold approximately 2,000

individuals, to ensure proper social distancing, and of that, he added that only around 80 percent were in attendance to Sunday’s concert. He added the arena worked in conjunction with the Pike County Health Department in preparing for the show.

All possible safety precautions were taken, he said, to ensure the safety of customers and arena staff. Assistant General Manager Larry Miller said that it’s proven, with social distancing, that the arena can have safe events.

Kesler said throughout the night, individuals were constantly “praising” the arena and its staff for the atmosphere associated with the show.

 “It seems like everyone in attendance felt safe and we’ve even had a lot of people send us messages after the show, just reiterating how safe the environment was and how wonderful everything went,” Kesler said.

According to Kesler, he believes the Appalachian Wireless Arena staff deserve a ton of the credit, as he said, “they went above and beyond” for the arena’s first show of its concert season.

“Personally, I think it went really great,” Kesler said. “Travis did phenomenal and people really responded well to his solo acoustic performance.”

According to Kesler, Tritt seemed to be very happy when he left the arena which is always a positive sign. Kesler also said he wanted to thank all the individuals who came out and made the Appalachian Wireless Arena’s first show of its 2021 concert season a success.

With the success of Sunday’s show, Kesler said that the arena feels that much more confident in being able to provide a safe environment for customers as it moves forward with the 2021 concert season. That sentiment was also shared by Appalachian Wireless Arena General Manager Paul Bowles as according to him, he believes that with social distancing and constant sanitization, the Appalachian Wireless Arena staff can have safe events here at the arena for individuals to enjoy, in a safe manner.

Kesler said that he proud to be a part of the Appalachian Wireless Arena, as he said it is the  “entertainment hub” for the region. He added that when the arena is able to have shows, it draws crowds from the entire region. In doing so, Kesler said that the Appalachian Wireless Arena is able to provide entertainment for residents in not only its home of Pikeville, but residents from Prestonsburg, Hazard and so on throughout the area. He added that the shows also draw individuals from surrounding areas and states, which in turn, brings people through the different parts of the region, something that helps counties and cities alike here in Eastern Kentucky.

Regarding what’s coming next for the Appalachian Wireless Arena’s 2021 concert season, Kesler said that there are definitely “some big things” in the works. However, he added that the arena didn’t want to count its chickens before they’ve hatched and that individuals should be on the lookout for updates regarding future shows and upcoming events on the Appalachian Wireless Arena FaceBook page, as well as local media outlets.

“People were just really excited to be able to be back here attending concerts,” Kesler said. “We’re looking forward to being able to have more shows this year.”

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