(WGHP) — The Triad is alive with the sound of music again.
Live, in-person concerts and festivals are back.
It’s something many people have been waiting for since the pandemic forced many of these events to be canceled or postponed.
On Friday night, the White Oak Amphitheater in Greensboro kicked off their second live concert with a Rolling Stones tribute night.
Thirty-five miles away, in Lexington, preparations were underway to welcome back thousands to the city’s Depot District Music Festival.
“It kind of kicks off the summer for the Triad,” Lexington Mayor Newell Clark said. “Typically, a couple thousand people may attend this event.”
The stages are set, the speakers are hooked up, and soon, the grassy area in between Main Street and the Depot District will be filled with people for the first time since 2019.
“This is kind of our way of letting folks know that we’re open, the Triad is open, and we’re doing it safely,” Clark said.
He’s excited to bring back the festival.
The city suffered financially from canceled events in 2020, between the music festival and the Barbeque Festival.
“[The canceled Barbeque Festival was] a $9 million impact to our local economy. When you look at a festival [like the Depot Music Festival], it’s obviously much small,” Clark said. “But that means something to our mom and pop, locally-owned businesses that are on Main Street. They rely on these festivals, that foot traffic, and the new folks coming into town. All of that was missed.”
That’s also one of the reasons why Scott Johnson, the deputy director of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, is overjoyed that they’re also back in business.
“It’s about economic turnover of dollars in your community, and that results in more tax dollars, which helps the tax base,” he said. “Our partners want to work, our vendors want to work, our stagehands want to work.”
While getting those dollars back into the economy is important for people in both cities, seeing people sing and dance again is something both leaders say is just priceless.
“I really enjoy coming out to shows and seeing the fans and seeing the smiling faces from the little kids up to seniors,” Johnson said.
“Socialize again. See your neighbors and be able to shake hands,” Clark said. “See folks, but at the same time enjoy some wonderful live music.”