Despite a pandemic looming over our heads, a new music festival will be coming to Ringle, WI this summer. On Tuesday (23), the Q&Z Expo Center announced Herd Immunity Fest would take place July 16-18, 2020.
Fifteen bands are currently set to perform during the three-day event, including Static-X, Dope, Royal Bliss, Bobaflex, Kalideo, Sponge and more.
“When the lock down first happened my first thought was OK we can all do 2 weeks, then it went on and on, things were getting cancelled, I started to worry about people not only for this Covid but mental, physical, financial,” wrote the festival’s promoter on the Q&Z Expo Center Facebook page. “As humans we NEED other human contact. MUSIC in itself is great, but the live streams as I am sure you all know is just not the same we need LIVE , feel it to the bones, run shivers up your spine MUSIC with people around us. Takes us all away on a trip that unless you have felt it you won’t understand. So it is OUR honor to bring you this mini fest. Let’s make it a fun , safe weekend, and let’s be kind to each other. Spread the word by sharing the event and invite your friends.”
Capacity for the usually 10,000-person outdoor venue is being capped at 2,500 so people can properly social distance from one another. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs as well.
If it goes as planned, this will be the US’ first music festival with nationally touring acts to take place since the pandemic hit.
Wisconsin has seen more than 25,331 cases and 750 deaths since the pandemic began. Marathon County, which includes Ringle, is currently seeing a medium amount of activity. In May, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the state’s “safer-at-home” order, essentially leaving it up to individual counties to decide if they should shelter in place.
The concert industry has been hit hard by the pandemic as all shows scheduled since mid-March have been cancelled or postponed around the world, leaving countless crew and venue staff jobless for the foreseeable future. Health experts, as well as Live Nation, predict that live music and events won’t go back to “normal” until at least 2021.
As one can imagine, there has already been pushback about the festival. Early Wednesday, Powerman 5000 frontman Spider One took to Twitter to express his disgust. “A bunch of bands that I consider peers and some friends are partaking in a show called “herd immunity fest”, which by that title is basically saying to their fans, come see us and we hope you get sick. What the actual fuck??” Nonpoint, who had originally signed up to perform during the festival, responded to his tweet, saying, “Hey brother. NONPOINT is not playing because of the way the festival is named. We have dropped off.”
Following Nonpoint’s decision to drop from the festival, the festival organizers quickly rebranded the event without using the name Herd Immunity and issued the below statement:
For the record the venues land can accommodate up to 10,000 occupancy. This is an OUTDOOR EVENT for 3 Days. We are only selling 20% of that so anyone has the choice and ability to social distance. The Festival is also not called “Herd Immunity” and the name no longer tied to any of our social media or promotion.
Three day passes for the event (there are no single day tickets) are $105.50 and can be purchased here. A full line-up for the festival can also be found at that link.