GREENSBORO, N.C. (August 12, 2021) – Eastern Music Festival (EMF), a nationally recognized music festival and summer educational program based in the heart of North Carolina, celebrated a safe a successful conclusion to its 60th anniversary season on July 31, 2021. After 18 months of careful planning, as well as a limited virtual season in 2020, EMF was able to return to its home campus of Guilford College for in-person music study and world-class performances over five weeks this summer.
“Our plans for a healthy and safe in-person Festival were successful. We followed the recommended protocols from local, state, and national experts, required COVID-19 vaccinations for all of our participants, conducted prevalence testing, monitored our immediate community, and wore masks entering and exiting crowded indoor settings,” said EMF executive director Chris Williams. “We knew that the best way to do what we do so well – educate and nurture young artists – should occur in the studio, on the stage, with all health and safety precautions in place.”
Live performances and in-person study were back, but the new normal was very different this summer. EMF established early on that 2021 could work with some adjustments to accommodate the health and safety protocols: enrolling fewer students housed in single-room dorms, reduced faculty artist ensemble sizes, no outside guest artists, required vaccinations and testing for all EMF participants, online touchless ticketing, socially distanced seating, and 50% capacity for indoor venues. While smaller in scope, the quality of education was not diminished, and programming was more tightly focused. Over 8,000 people attended 51 ticketed events, and 190 students engaged in more than 950 hours of private lessons and over 945 rehearsals, seminars, studio classes, and performances.
“Our return to a live festival following more than a year of serious challenges is something to celebrate,” added Williams. “We could not have been so successful without the support and commitment of our partners, students, faculty, staff, board, and patrons.”
Planning is already underway for EMF’s 61st season, June 25 – July 30, 2022, in Greensboro, NC.