Organizers are focusing on safety at this weekend’s Folk Festival

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — This weekend, thousands will converge on Richmond for the Folk Festival.

Organizers are focusing on keeping everyone safe.

With up to 200,000 people expected to attend the festival, organizers say the Las Vegas tragedy prompted them to consider their surroundings while having a good time.

8News spoke with Stephanie Brown who is new to Richmond but already knows how big of a deal the Folk Festival is.

“It’s not like a show you can go to, it’s like a whole experience itself,” Brown said.

She looks forward to a weekend of great music and company.

“It’s the community, it’s literally just walking around and being able to talk to anyone,” she said.

Lisa Sims, the Venture Richmond Executive Director who helped organize the event said safety is a top priority.

“We try every year to look at everything new and fresh based upon the experiences that we’ve seen at other festivals around us,” Sims said.

Sims says recent events at a music festival in Las Vegas prompted organizers to re-think their approach. Developing both on-sight and emergency response plans.

“While there are no guarantees in life, at all, we do try our best to make it safe as possible for everyone, including ourselves and all attendees,” Sims said.

Attendees like Stephanie Brown say their optimistic security detail will be tight, but she plans on doing her part to spot anything that seems suspicious.

“If you’re walking around someone and you see kind of like a sketchy area and there’s less people there and you see one person acting weird, that’s always like an alert,” Brown said.

Brown encourages others to not let the unthinkable get in the way of their experience.

“If I’m sitting here and I’m like, ‘oh, I’m so worried that this is going to happen, I’m so scared about this,’ then it’s going to take away the fun like I’m going to always be on edge,” she said.

8News reached out to Richmond Police.

They wouldn’t get into their tactical response but tell us they plan for these events well in advance and with an annual event as large as the folk festival. Officers will be prepared for anything.

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