Thanks to COVID-19, summer festival season is cancelled this year. Holdouts that waited as long as they possibly could to cancel, like Lollapalooza? Cancelled. Fests that rescheduled the fall hoping the pandemic would be over by then, like Coachella? Cancelled. Despite all the industrious attempts to bring back live music, from drive-in concerts to socially distanced theater shows, no one is willing to risk throwing a full-scale music festival outside the virtual world. No one, that is, except the nu-metal zealots of Wisconsin.
Less than four weeks from now, from July 16-18, the pointedly named Herd Immunity Festival is coming to Q&Z Expo Center in Ringle, Wisconsin, billed as Central Wisconsin’s School House Of Rock. Tickets are on sale now for all ages. For the price of $105.50 plus $7.50 shipping, you get three days of music including such talents as Static-X, Nonpoint, Dope, a reunited Bobaflex, Blacktop Mojo, Royal Bliss, Flaw, Kaleido, SAUL, Versus Me, a Metallica tribute band called ONE, an AC/DC tribute band called Thunderstruck, and more. Somehow Sammy Hagar, who today expressed his preference to die of coronavirus rather than stop playing rock shows, is not on the bill.
There is no mention of social distancing practices anywhere in the venue’s Facebook post announcing the event, nor has promoter Ardent Entertainment provided any assurance of sanitary precautions above and beyond the norm. It appears these folks are intending to carry on as if everything will be fine. The whole thing raises so many questions, foremost among them: How do you have Static-X headline your music festival, in the Badger State, during a pandemic that will surely kill off a percentage of your audience, and not call it Wisconsin Death Trip?!?!?