'It's just bliss': Walnut Creek welcomes Dave Matthews Band, fans back for first since time 2019

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Saturday, July 24, 2021
Walnut Creek welcomes fans back for first live event since 2019
Music filled the air at Walnut Creek on Friday night for the first time in a long time.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Music filled the air at Walnut Creek on Friday night for the first time in a long time.

Nearly 20,000 people packed the Coastal Credit Union Music Park for the first of back-to-back shows.

Dave Matthews Band was the first show in 650 days.

"I feel pretty good," said Steve Wright, who lives in Knightdale. "We're still cautious with things going on and some of the things flaring up, but I feel pretty good."

Wright and his wife had tickets to last year's show, which got canceled because of the pandemic.

He said he was grateful he got to use them again Friday.

Wright, who has been vaccinated, had his mask with him, too, but said he'd make a decision once he got inside.

Though masks and vaccinations aren't required, there are new sanitizing stations inside the facility.

All tickets are now digital and the venue is strongly encouraging people to wear a mask if they haven't been vaccinated.

"This is a huge deal," said CJ Dew who came to Raleigh from Birmingham for Dave. "We've been waiting for everything up to this point. We get to come in and gather around and see each other for the first time in two years. It's just bliss."

Dew tailgated with friends he met at a show years ago.

They had to wait a year to meet again.

"I'm completely comfortable even with those who are not vaccinated," said Chris Terranova of Phoenix. "I feel that they've taken the precautions coming to this show knowing they'll be around a large group of people."

Walnut Creek officials said they are watching the rising COVID-19 case counts, but ultimately they follow the City of Raleigh's guidelines.

"It's a relief to be back here for sure," said Michael Hancock of Raleigh, who was coming to his 71st Dave Matthews show. "Live music has been such an important part of my life ever since I was old enough to go to concerts. Dave was my first concert."