Several large-scale events this spring, including J. Cole’s Dreamville Festival, that draw tens of thousands of visitors to Raleigh will go on as planned, at least for now, despite a state of emergency due to the continuing spread of coronavirus.
The City Council convened Tuesday for a special work session to go over the events, which include a variety of St. Patrick’s Day festivities this weekend, the Brewgaloo downtown beer festival, Artsplosure and Dreamville.
“There is a state of emergency. People need to be mindful. Those who are at risk or who have underlying issues should not come to festivals, events and whatnot downtown,” said Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin. “Everybody, please use common sense.”
Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency Tuesday, with added precautions for Wake County, which so far has had six residents test positive for the highly-infectious virus. Over 116,000 cases have been identified worldwide, with over 800 cases in the United States.
Although a lineup is yet to be announced, Dreamville is expected to draw 50,000 people to Raleigh April 4. The festival sold-out last year and left area hotels nearly at-capacity. The majority of attendees came from out of state, including a dozen international counties. Other events, like Artsplosure, can bring upwards of 80,000 to the city.
People over the age of 65 and with underlying conditions are especially vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus, which has flu-like symptoms including a cough and high fever. Cooper has instructed those people to avoid large gatherings.
Although Raleigh officials are taking the threat of the virus very seriously, City Manager Ruffin Hall said there would be no announcements regarding any cancellations or postponements Tuesday.
“It is important to note we are not going to rush any decisions to cancel events or alter services,” Hall said. “
Contact Raleigh news editor Leigh Tauss at email@example.com.
Support independent local journalism. Join the INDY Press Club to help us keep fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle.