Remember Herd Immunity Festival? The three-day nu-metal extravaganza, now renamed July Mini Fest after several bands dropped off the bill in response to the original branding, is still set to take place at the Q&Z Expo Center in Easton, Wisconsin, a town of about 1100 people. And apparently, many of those 1100 people, including the town officials, had no idea that there was going to be a festival in their town until The View told them about it.
Meghan McCain, co-host of the ABC talk show, asked Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin to weigh in on the festival last week. “The concert is still going on as planned, and Sammy Hagar is going on TV talking about how excited he is,” McCain told Baldwin on last Thursday’s episode, mistakenly conflating Herd Immunity Festival with Sammy Hagar saying that he would “rather personally get sick and even die” than wait for a coronavirus vaccine. “What do you think of this idea? Do you think it’s as irresponsible as I do?”
“It came as news to me quite recently and apparently came as news to the public health department of Marathon County, where this venue is,” Baldwin responded. “I think that the risk of people coming from all over, especially places where we’re seeing spikes in the coronavirus infection, even though it’s an outdoor venue, I think it’s dangerous and wish that everybody would pay attention to the public health advice and scientific expertise that we have available to us today. We should not be having large gatherings of thousands of people.”
Apparently, the residents of Easton, Wisconsin agree. Arnold Schlei, Town of Easton chairman and Marathon County Board supervisor, tells the Wasau Daily Herald that complaints from locals began pouring in after the segment aired. He says that town and county leadership and most of the residents hadn’t even heard of the festival until it popped up on The View.
But despite the criticism, organizers of the festival seem pretty determined to go through with it. In response to a Facebook comment from a concerned fan, owners of Q&Z Expo Center promised hand sanitizer and extra porta potties as safety precautions:
we are doing many things to keep it as safe as possible. One thing is we are limiting this to 2500 total the space we are having it in could easily fit over 10,000 our choice was to limit it so there would be plenty of room to social distance. I have already told many that meet and greets with the bands probably will not happen. We never have allowed any kind of mosh pits ( don’t know if you were here when machinehead was) and yes we do enforce that rule, every band will have their own greenroom, and it will be cleaned and sanitized after each use, we have cases of hand sanitizer, we have ordered double the amount of portapotties then what the state recommends with hand wash stations and also requested every one have sanitizers inside them also, we have a team that will clean them often and they will be pumped out daily. We encourage wearing masks and practice social distancing.
Well I’m sold! Stoked to catch some Static-X, Dope, Bobaflex, Sponge, Blacktop Mojo, and Royal Bliss sets!