Summer Parks Concert Series May Be Cancelled
Arts Council and Forsyth County May Cancel 2020 Summer Parks Concert Series
Winston-Salem, NC (May 29, 2020) -- The Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County says that its 2020 Summer Parks Concert Series, presented in collaboration with Forsyth County, likely will be cancelled. The series announced earlier included three performances at the County’s Tanglewood Park and two at Triad Park. The kick-off concert planned for Sunday, June 21, at Tanglewood Park, already has been cancelled to comply with crowd restrictions contained in the Governor’s COVID-19 Phase Two Order. It extends through June 26, and the nature of crowds and other restrictions in the Governor’s Phase Three Order are presently uncertain.
Randy Eaddy, President and CEO of The Arts Council, said, “It is doubtful that large events such as ours will be permitted, even after the expiration of Phase Two of the current Order. However, we are not making a final call quite yet on the remaining concerts that were planned for July and August. We have done substantial preparation in order to proceed, but things are changing daily and the path forward after Phase Two is too speculative to call right now.”
Eaddy noted that, even knowing earlier that nothing was certain, The Arts Council took an optimistic approach and made plans for an exciting, five-concert, 2020 summer series. “In light of the required cancellation of the June 21 kick-off concert, we took a hard and sober look at the feasibility of the rest of the series. After consultations with County officials, we believe it is unlikely that we can stage any of the other concerts. Logistical contingences, along with public health and safety considerations, make it difficult to expect otherwise.”
This would have been the fifth season for the popular free, family friendly Summer Parks Concert Series, which is a collaborative presentation by Forsyth County and The Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County.
David Plyler, Chair of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, said, “We are deeply disappointed, of course, that the first concert had to be cancelled and the others are in jeopardy. Our parks are one of Forsyth County’s greatest assets, and our Commissioners have worked hard to let County residents know what a treasure they are, and to present opportunities for their use. However, public health and safety concerns must always take priority. And, we must be realistic about the logistical demands for staging the concerts, even if safety restrictions were to be eased enough to permit them. We simply have no way of knowing all of that now.”
Plyler went on to say that the County is proud of its collaboration with The Arts Council for the Parks concert series. “It has been a perfect coming together of interests and resources,” he said. “The Arts Council has personnel who are skilled in producing family friendly events of this kind, and Forsyth County has these two amazing venues – Tanglewood and Triad Parks – and the desire to boost awareness of them and their use and enjoyment.”
Eaddy added, “We will make a decision on the rest of the 2020 series soon. In any event, by summer 2021 if not before, we expect to have an entirely different environment, so that we can conduct the Parks Series with confidence in the schedule and planning. We are grateful for the sponsor support we received during the last four seasons, which was important for their success. We will be conferring with the County and will make every effort to bring great entertainment to our public parks as soon as it is reasonably possible.”
Winston-Salem, known as a “City of Arts & Innovation,” and Forsyth County have a robust arts community that enriches the lives of area residents every day and accounts in large part for the recognition the community is receiving as a great place to live, learn, work and play. Forsyth County’s nonprofit arts industry supports 5,559 full time equivalent jobs; accounts for more than $129 million in resident household income, and generates more than $14.8 million in local and state tax revenues.