RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Proof of vaccination is the latest requirement to gain access to the world’s biggest bluegrass music festival, which is taking place at the Raleigh Convention Center.
“It is really important. Our board looked at our policy, looked at what Raleigh was doing, and acted in the best safety interests of all of our members and attendees,” said Pat Morris, IBMA Executive Director.
Once inside the convention center, attendees are required to wear a mask. However, they’re only recommended for outdoor events. Some of the musicians say it’s a small price to pay to play in person.
The event is expected to bring thousands of fans and dollars into the city.
“From 2013 to 2019, we had almost 1.3 million visitors just for this festival and we had an economic impact of over $80 million, so obviously this does benefit the city. But more than that, it really provides a shining light on bluegrass,” said Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin.
Live entertainment leader Live Nation is following a similar safety approach. It will begin requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend all of their shows beginning Friday.
Organizers at the bluegrass festival also say they are not accepting negative COVID-19 tests in place of proof of vaccination.