RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – COVID-19 protocols have become part of many events taking place in the Triangle. Depending on where you go, you’ll need a mask and even your vaccination card.

Tuesday marked the first day of IBMA World of Bluegrass and its return to being in-person in Raleigh.

“It is great to have live bluegrass and be back in Raleigh,” said Pat Morris, executive director of IBMA.

it is the biggest bluegrass event in the world.

“It’s just so great to see the record producers and everybody back together again. It really is like a small community,” said musician James Reams with James Reams and the Barnstormers.

All events taking place inside the Raleigh Convention Center require people to show proof of vaccination and to wear masks.

“We have to fight this pandemic, and if anybody wants to see that it ends, it’s musicians because we’ve been on such a hiatus for so long,” Reams said.

PNC Arena is also welcoming back the Carolina Hurricanes and their fans for their first preseason game on Tuesday. Everyone will be required to do an online safety COVID-19 check-in and wear a mask inside.

“We trust that people want to stay safe. We will be policing it as much as we can,” said Don Waddell, president and general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes.



Future concerts at PNC, like Michael Bublé and Harry Styles, will go beyond those mandates. They’re requiring everyone to either be vaccinated or show a negative COVID-19 test.

“I think it’s going to stay this way for a while. And we hope in time as vaccines continue to get rolled out, we hope that’s a big push for the future for us to be able to take the masks off and go to our events like we used to,” Waddell said.

It’s hard for anyone to say exactly how long COVID-19 protocols will be in place. Event managers hope they subside next year but said people should get used to them for the time being.