CoastLine: Arts leaders in the Cape Fear region plan for more live, in-person entertainment in fall / winter 2021 through strong safety protocols
As we head into the fall and winter with a pandemic still raging, local arts leaders are planning plenty of in-person entertainment and putting safety protocols in place. But some touring artists are demanding even stricter rules compared to the venues — requiring proof of vaccination only or shorter windows for negative Covid test results.
Our sense of time may have shifted, bent a little, during the pandemic. Some of us think and talk of 2019 as last year – since we spent much of 2020 indoors, isolated, cooking at home, and getting our entertainment from smart TVs and phones.
But for businesses who track their success by a monthly bottom line, or arts organizations, which are often nonprofits relying on in-person audiences, it’s been a slow crawl to the pandemic finish line. We’re not there, but with vaccinations on the rise, arts leaders are cautiously hoping for a strong fall and winter season.
Live Oak Bank Pavilion and Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, both at opposite ends of downtown Wilmington and both run by Live Nation -- say they’ll require proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test within 72 hours of an event. That starts October 4th.
Some touring artists are demanding those protocols now, and so the stricter rules apply to specific shows – such as Counting Crows and Bruce Hornsby. Some artists are even insisting the negative Covid test is within a tighter window -- 48 hours instead of 72.
This year’s Cucalorus Film Festival will require proof of vaccination to attend any event. So far, say organizers, that’s the only thing that will get you in the door. While a negative Covid test is not currently acceptable, that policy is subject to change.
How will the Wilson Center at Cape Fear Community College and Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts handle Covid protocols? And how are they faring after the worst of the shutdown? What can audiences expect this coming fall and winter from local community theater companies?
Let The Right One In, a Swedish Vampire play produced by Big Dawg, opens October 21st at Thalian Hall and runs through the 31st.
Tony Rivenbark, Executive and Artistic Director of the Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts
Shane Fernando, Vice President for Advancement & The Arts at Cape Fear Community College; Executive and Artistic Director of the Wilson Center
Steve Vernon, Artistic Director, Big Dawg Productions