Despite many large events in the area being canceled through the spring and summer, the Virginia Arts Festival’s Williamsburg Live is still moving forward.
Williamsburg Live is planned to take place from June 26-28 on the Lawn of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. The event is set to feature Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit as a headliner with other musical guests throughout the weekend.
In the past, the event has brought thousands of guests to the area but with the coronavirus (COVID-19) running rampant across Hampton Roads and the Peninsula, Gov. Ralph Northam has banned events with gatherings of more than 10 people.
The ban took effect Tuesday and will last through 11:59 p.m. April 23. Northam said officials will reevaluate the coronavirus situation and decide whether to extend the ban.
Despite the current health emergency, the festival has not made any plans to cancel, said Alli Pereira, a representative for Virginia Arts Festival, noting the ban only extends to April 23.
But Pereira said the Virginia Arts Festival is continuing to monitor the situation daily and is taking precautions to protect the health of guests and participants. Festival leaders will consult the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local health authorities.
Tickets for the event are currently available and it remains unclear if the organization will pause the sales.
Northam on Tuesday said people will have to stay at home and many businesses will remain shuttered for “months, not weeks” as the nation battles the coronavirus pandemic.
The governor warned that the number of coronavirus-related deaths in Virginia would keep going up.
“We have nowhere come close to hitting that peak of the curve,” the governor said this week. “But if we continue to do what we’re recommending, we will hopefully flatten that curve as much as we can.”
On Wednesday, the state reported 391 positive cases of coronavirus. That’s up 101 the day prior
As of Wednesday, James City County remains to have one of the highest positive cases of coronavirus in the state at 41; Williamsburg has 5, York County, 8 and Newport News, 4, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
So far, 12 people have died in Virginia — 7 in the Peninsula Health District, 2 in Henrico County Health District, 1 in Pittsylvania-Danville Health District, 1 in Fairfax Health District and 1 in the Virginia Beach Health District.
The Peninsula Health District covers Newport News, Poquoson, Williamsburg, James City County and York County.
The Virginia Arts Festival said it has already postponed or canceled 12 different events through May 4, according to the organization’s website. This includes various performances and the Virginia International Tattoo, which was originally scheduled for April 30.
According to the website, for those events there are various options in which people can exchange, donate or refund their tickets.
For events that are postponed, guests’ tickets will automatically be rescheduled to the performance date.
For events that are canceled, ticket holders can exchange the ticket for a different Virginia Arts Festival performance or for a gift certificate, receive a full refund for the ticket, or donate the cost of the ticket to the organization.
The Virginia Arts Festival reminds visitors on its website that it is a nonprofit organization that relies on ticket sales and encourages individuals to donate the value of their ticket.
“While cancelling performances is necessary for the health of all our patrons, staff, artists, and volunteers, it will be a loss for the institution, making donations even more important,” according to the website. “If you choose to donate your ticket(s) you will help sustain our revenue during this time, allowing us to continue inspiring and impacting people through the performing arts, and receive a tax deduction.”
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