As concerts and festivals worldwide remain on hiatus for the foreseeable future, one venue in Wisconsin is prepping for a new, three-day music festival set to take place on July 16th–18th—of this year.
Billed as July Mini Fest – 3 days of LIVE Music, the rock/metal event is set to take place at the Q&Z Expo Center in Ringle, WI and feature performances by Static-X, Nonpoint, Dope, Royal Bliss, Blacktop Mojo, and more. The festival will also feature a reunion performance by Bobaflex. At least one promo post on the Q&Z Expo Center Facebook page refers to the event as a “Herd Immunity fest.”
As a post on the Q&Z Expo Center Facebook Page notes,
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. 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.
Organizers appear to be taking some precautions to mitigate the potential transmission of the novel coronavirus at the event. As Q&Z Expo Center notes in the Facebook Event description,
Only a LIMITED amount of Tickets & Passes AVAILABLE! 2500 total the area we will be using could hold over 10,000 but we are keeping it at 2500 to allow everyone to keep social distance.
Although they are operating at reduced capacity, the event’s social distancing efforts appear to end there. Unlike many of the adapted shows and drive-in performances announced in recent weeks, which outlined detailed plans for ensuring the health and safety of attendees, the July “Herd Immunity” festival’s recognition of the ongoing pandemic appears to stop at the total capacity. The remainder of the information regarding the event focuses primarily on normal concert logistics. Though states are beginning to open up across the country, live music events will come along with the very last “reopening” phase in most places. Many experts have noted that large-scale concerts will likely not be safe until 2021, or until a vaccine/effective treatment is developed.
While the number of cases in Wisconsin has remained comparatively low and the state’s initial spike in early June has dropped somewhat, it’s worth noting that the number of new cases in the state has begun to grow steadily again over the last ten days. The festival is also sure to draw people from other states, raising the risk of transmission of the virus at the event.
In May, Wisconsin’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers, pejoratively referred to his state as the “Wild West” after the Wisconsin Supreme Court blocked his extension of a stay-at-home order. “That is such a sad thing for the state of Wisconsin,” he told MSNBC. “The people of Wisconsin have worked so hard to have this chaotic situation at this point in time.”
Though he noted that people in Wisconsin were not “idiots” and would do “everything they can” to maintain the health and safety of the community as the outbreak continues, Evers warned, “When you have no requirements any more, that’s a problem. We’re just leaving it open. We’re going to have more cases, we’re going to have more deaths. It’s a sad occasion for the state, I can’t tell you how disappointed I am.”
Of note, Wisconsin’s biggest festival, Milwaukee’s Summerfest, canceled its 2020 event after previously postponing to the fall after assessing the risk involved with hosting the event in 2020.
You can view the full lineup and schedule for the “herd immunity” event below and purchase three-day passes to the event here.
Wisconsin July Mini Fest Lineup
Blacktop Mojo 8:30-10
ONE – Metallica Tribute Band 2:30-4
Thunderstruck-: America’s AC/DC Tribute 4:30-6
Royal Bliss 6:30-8
The Night Crawlers Band: Noon – 12:30
TBA 1 -2
Versus Me 2:30-3:30
+ DOPE + 5:30-6:15
Static-X 8:30 to close
[H/T Consequence of Sound]