ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — Changes were made Thursday to the way the 2021 National Buffalo Wing Festival will operate.
Organizers previously announced the festival would operate at a reduced capacity with five pre-ticketed sessions lasting three hours each. Thursday, organizers announced changes to that plan due to the expiration of COVID-19 safety protocols for outdoor events.
The festival will now operate as a general admission event, as in previous years, and there will no longer be pre-ticketed and timed sessions. Tickets will also be sold at the gate the days of the festival.
Drew Cerza, festival founder, released a statement which said in part:
Many Wingfest fans have urged us to go back to a general admission format, as in the past, while maintaining the safest environment as possible for our attendees to enjoy. This is what we have done. We were also able to incorporate additional areas of the stadium and make it more comfortable for our wing fanatics to devour their wings. By including the main field and the open-air concourse around the stadium, as well as, the large indoor air-conditioned Pepsi Club, we were able to double our festival footprint and space our attendees out twice as much as in previous years. We also have over 20,000 seats for people to relax in.
The festival is set to take place at Highmark Stadium September 4 from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and September 5 from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Erie County instituted a mask policy for county buildings last month, including Highmark Stadium. The policy requires anyone entering a county facility to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. This includes the concourses, indoor areas and enclosed spaces at the stadium.