‘A great glimmer of hope’: Festivals are making a comeback in the Piedmont Triad

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Festivals are making a comeback in the Piedmont Triad.

Several live music performances are on the calendar for next month. Artists and their audiences will be face-to-face for the first time in more than a year.

“We are glad to kind of be able to lead the charge and you know push our organization, but also our community, back towards safe socialization,” said Atiba Berkley, president of the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society.

The Carolina Blues Festival is the first of its kind to return to Greensboro since the shutdown. The Piedmont Blues Preservation Society will celebrate the legacy of soul and blues in LeBauer Park in May.

“There is nothing like having cheering, clapping for you, and seeing you know the wonderful dances and crazy dances and having that interaction,” Berkley said.

The last year has been challenging. Concerts and festivals provide a form of social interaction that’s hard to replicate.

“I think it’s a great glimmer of hope for everybody, like this is definitely getting back to normal. It’s going to feel like a normal summer starting back again. We are definitely taking precautions to be safe, so it is a little different, but you are definitely getting that excited for summer feel with it,” said Rachael Lough, the public relations manager for the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds.

Winston-Salem is kicking off its Classic Country Concert Series on May 14. It will be the first major national touring concert in the area since the pandemic. Organizers are hopeful it’s a turning point.

“The entertainment industry as a whole has been suffering this whole year, not being able to do anything, not having that creative outlet, so getting the artist back is great but really just having our community back and seeing the community out and support those artists is a big thing for us,” Lough said.

Masks are required at both of these upcoming events. There will also be pre-entry temperature checks and health screenings at the Carolina Blues Festival.

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