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Fridays After Five kicks off for the first time since pandemic, attracts hundreds

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 7:16 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - After the coronavirus pandemic put a halt on all live music and large gatherings for more than a year, Charlottesville is welcoming back Fridays After Five.

The summer series is back at the Ting Pavilion Friday, June 18, on the Downtown Mall.

You can feel the excitement in the air from people who have waited for months to get together and hear live music.

“Oh my God, just for the last month we’ve been rebuilding our staff because we did lose some people,” Ting Pavilion Manager Kirby Hutto said. “Getting folks and getting them trained, getting everything checked out repaired, rebranded as Ting Pavilion.”

This day has been circled on Hutto’s calendar for months.

”This is just sort of embedded into the fabric of what downtown is. So just being able to have that come back,” he said. “I mean I think so many people have just been looking forward to this day that we can gather and hear live music and get back to that part of normal.”

“I think that it’s going to be pretty emotional for everybody,” Shagwüf singer and bassist Sally Rose said. “I am pretty positive at some point I’m just going to break down and start crying and we’re just going to play through it, which full transparency, will just be absolutely tears of joy, gratitude.”

Fridays After Five holds a special place in Rose’s heart.

“It’s so special because it is so Charlottesville, it is this town. The beauty of Fridays After Five is it’s open to all ages. Anybody can come,” she said.

Rose says, as a musician, returning to the stage will be surreal, but she is more excited to have this community reunion.

“Feeling community and a sense of togetherness is something that I think, not just this town, but we’ve all been really missing a lot,” she said.

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