Large concerts, conventions in NC could start back up in June

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The governor’s announcement is good news for mass gatherings like concerts and the N.C. State Fair.

While many have been holding events, they’ve only been allowed to do so at 50 percent capacity. That could change starting in June.

“We’re really excited,” Kerry Painter, the Director of the Raleigh Convention and Performing Arts Complex said.

It’s been more than a year since most people have attended a concert or convention.

“It will create entertainment for the people who are really, really wanting to do something safe but enjoyable, it’ll get the restaurants reignited, it’ll get the hotels reignited,” Painter said.

She oversees the Raleigh Convention Center, the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and Red Hat Amphitheater.

Painter said the currently rules don’t work for most artists.

“They really need 80 to 90% in order to afford and make the show viable,” Painter explained.

The Convention Center has opened for smaller events like a volleyball tournament a couple of weeks back.

“What this announcement will really mean is that we save the stuff on the calendar for this summer and for fall,” Painter said.

“Here at the state fair, we have had events all along, but many events have not been able to take place,” Kent Yelverton, the State Fair Manager said.

That includes the N.C. State Fair, which was canceled in 2020.

“We did have to make the decision, the very hard decision to furlough two-thirds of our staff, about 54 employees,” Yelverton said.

Back in February, they announced they would move forward with the State Fair in 2021.

“We’re certainly hopeful it will look very normal,” he said.

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