DELAND, Fla. – Music festivals are returning to DeLand. The 20th annual DeLand Original Music Festival kicks off on Saturday and it will be the first permitted music event in the city during COVID-19.
“It’s just a new animal. It’s a pandemic that we have to deal with now and it’s had some challenging aspects to get everything together,” Philip Weidner said.
Philip Weidner organized the event and said he had to submit a Covid-19 safety plan to the city before hosting the 12-hour event and follow certain guidelines, like doing away with cash.
“We have sanitation sinks at every entranceway. We have face masks available to people who don’t have one because we do require face masks throughout the entire event,” Weidner said.
Weidner spent Friday morning loading equipment for the more than 100 acts that will be performing on 16 stages. He said the bands will be spread out within a three block radius which will promote social distancing. The crowds will also be smaller this year. Weidner said between two to three thousand people can attend this event, which he said usually brings in well over 5,000 music lovers.
“Obviously, we can’t force anybody to do anything but we’re just trying to get everyone to play along with the rules so we can be back there next year,” he said.
News 6 spoke with the City of DeLand about this weekend’s event.
“The organizer knows the risk that they’re taking with this event. We’ve told them look, you need to follow these safety plans. If you don’t, you’re going to risk jeopardizing yourself for having events here in DeLand again,” Chris Graham said.
City Spokesman Chris Graham said city leaders approved to have special events back in October when its COVID-19 cases were low, hoping to boost the local economy.
“If the numbers continue to increase, we’re going to have to reevaluate how we move forward with special events,” said Graham.
But, Wiedner said he doesn’t believe this event will be an issue.
“People have their opinions and I’m sure they might get paranoid and think that we might cause a super spread but, in my heart, I don’t see it happening,” he said.
For tickets and more information click this link.