Hear Ye! Hear Ye! There are big changes coming to the Carolina Renaissance Festival this year. And they are MUCH needed. After years of terrible traffic and neighbor complaints, the Carolina Renaissance Festival has announced it will be creating a new traffic pattern. It’s always taken a lot of time to get into the festival. But last year after the covid hiatus and increased development in the area, that traffic jam reached new heights.

The festival is located in Huntersville off Poplar Tent Road, and at its inception back in 1994 was pretty rural. But now it is home to many residences and commercial properties. During normal times the roads are near capacity so the influx of visitors in the fall it creates gridlock. Many residents reported not being able to leave their homes or if they did being unable to return on festival weekends. The story of the Carolina Renaissance Festival traffic made local news and the festival listened.

The Changes

The Carolina Renaissance Festival announced this week changes they are making to help control the traffic as well as the number of visitors. The festival’s newly updated Traffic Management Plan includes proposed detour routes for nonfestival-related traffic. There will also be expanded traffic control signage including changeable message signs with real-time updating. Finally, increased traffic control personnel placement, a relocated Poplar Tent driveway entry with improved paving, and signs at certain nearby subdivision entry locations to discourage traffic from entering nearby neighborhoods.

Another change will be the opening time of the festival. Historically opening was 10 am but in an effort to get more festival go-ers parked before heavy traffic times, it will now open at 9:30 am. “The change in opening hours and revised ticketing, combined with substantially increased traffic and parking management, should go a long way towards mitigating festival traffic impacts on its
surrounding communities.” said the producer of the event Jeffrey Siegel.


The final, and rather large, change for the 2022 season is that general admission any day tickets will no longer be sold. Instead, the event is moving to date-specific tickets with limited availability. These tickets will only be sold online, while supplies last. Tickets will no longer be sold at retail partners either. If the inventory is available some tickets will be available at the festival box office for that day. The intent is to limit the number of tickets available for each day and avoid overcrowding. It is important to note that the festival is open rain or shine and only closes in the event of an extremely unsafe weather impact. Ticket holders will receive a refund, or a revised ticket date offered when not sold out, should the festival not open on any event date due to extreme unsafe weather conditions.

Tickets will be available for sale on the Renaissance Festival website later in the summer.

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