It won’t look exactly the same as in year’s past, but the annual arts festival Artisphere will return for an in-person festival this May in downtown Greenville.
Presented by TD Bank, the celebrated arts festival will take place May 7-9 along four gated blocks of South Main Street, starting at the intersection of River and Augusta Streets and ending at Markley Street, just past Fluor Field.
The full lineup of artists, which is now live on Artisphere’s web page, includes 105 artists from 26 different states across the country.
Artisphere Executive Director Kerry Murphy said the primary goal was to ensure this year’s event will be “safe, small and socially distanced,” while still providing a creative and financial outlet for artists.
“The creative industry — artists, musicians, performers alike — their livelihoods came to a crashing halt last spring,” Murphy said. “While it is our hope that we can help them get back on their feet, it is not without an uncompromising commitment to public safety.”
The event will be gated, with three entrances and exits, and will operate at a limited capacity, in accordance with the SC Department of Commerce regulations and Department of Health and Environmental Control recommendations.
“In order to do that, we will carefully monitor the flow of patrons in and out of the festival,” Murphy said.
That monitoring will occur by giving all patrons lanyards with a chip inside that will activate every time attendees enter and exist the festival site, allowing event organizers the ability to track in real time the number of attendees.
All attendees will have to reserve timed sessions at the festival. Reservations cost $5, but once attendees arrive, that money will be reimbursed in the form of a $5 coupon to go toward any items purchased in the festival. Sessions will last two and a half hours, at which point the festival will be cleared out and cleaned before the next session begins.
Walk-up tickets will also be available but will be handed out at a first-come-first-serve basis.
Masks will be mandatory, and along with multiple hand-washing and sanitizing stations placed around the festival, there will also be a limit of two patrons or one family per booth at one time.
The festival will serve as the first major outdoor event to take place locally in 2021.