Cancellation of Greenville’s major events could mean millions in economic loss

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – As the number of coronavirus cases continue to increase in Greenville County, many annual events are being put on hold or cancelled completely.

And it could be effecting the local economy.

No fireworks will boom over Greenville this Fourth of July, and art will not line the streets for one of the area’s signature events.

“We wanted to make sure our patrons and our artists stayed safe,” Artisphere Executive Director Kerry Murphy said.

After Artisphere was postponed to August, now it will be cancelled completely.

“We entertained the idea of having reservations throughout the weekend and shifts and times and things like that. We explored all of our options,” Murphy said.

Local artist Marcy Connors was disappointed at the news.

“When you have that much foot traffic, and people from all over the world are coming to visit. Wow, that’s not going to happen this year,” said Connors, who is the artist at Southern Accent Designs.

She counts on events like Artisphere every year to sell her work.

“I intend to keep my doors open here and hope people continue to support the arts. You just never know,” Connors said.

But, there’s an even bigger economic impact to the cancellation.

“Numbers for the 2019 festival, Artisphere had a $9.1-million economic impact on Greenville over the course of the weekend,” Murphy said.

“We’re losing almost $2 million a day,” David Montgomery with Visit Greenville SC said.

The cancellation of major events means a major loss in revenue for the area.

“All of these things that happen in our marketplace almost every weekend from May to October isn’t happening right now,” Montgomery said.

But Artisphere is looking for a way to still make some version of the festival happen.

“So there will be a version of Artisphere presented by TD Bank and that will include some online opportunities to generate some sales for artists,” Murphy said.

And for artists like Connors, she’s doing what she does best and putting her emotions on canvas.

“And that is the light from God and he says everything’s going to be ok, just paint silly girl,” Connors said.

Other large events that have been cancelled include Greenville’s Red, White, and Boom. As of right now, Fall for Greenville has not announced any changes.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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