The North Carolina Folk Festival and the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society announce a unique collaboration to present the 34th Carolina Blues Festival as part of the annual Folk Festival the weekend of September 11-13, 2020.
Piedmont Blues Preservation Society president Atiba Berkley, and North Carolina Folk Festival president & CEO Amy Grossmann, began discussing the opportunity to join forces in late March as public health and economic developments resulting from COVID-19 were beginning to have a profound effect on the arts and events industries worldwide.
“As producers of events that bring people together in celebration of cultural expression, we carry a responsibility to provide a safe, entertaining, culturally relevant, inclusive environment for the artists and audiences that are the heart and soul of our work,” Berkley and Grossmann announced in a joint statement. “Our decision to collaborate on a unified festival will allow our organizations to share resources, fulfill our like-minded cultural missions, and together lift up our community through the power of music.”
The Piedmont Blues Preservation Society has produced the Carolina Blues Festival for 34 years making it the longest continuous Blues festival in the southeast. The 34th Carolina Blues Festival was originally scheduled to take place on May 16 and 17, 2020. “Our board and leadership team had several conversations in the early days of the pandemic about the realities we were facing with our original festival dates in May,” said Berkley. “We discussed and explored several options for alternate ways and times to present the 34th Carolina Blues Festival, and we agreed that the best thing to do would be to rally and persevere with another champion, the N.C. Folk Festival.”
The N.C. Folk Festival recently announced plans to present a modified version of their event. “We are thrilled that the Carolina Blues Festival team will be part of the creativity and agility that will empower our planning for a unified festival in September,” said Grossmann. “We are blessed to have helpers and common ground in the respective missions and resources our organizations can contribute to this collaboration, and we look forward to sharing that with our community in the Fall.”