Wisconsin ‘Herd Immunity Festival' Changes Name Amid Backlash

Event organizers said Wednesday they will limit capacity to 2,500 tickets to allow for social distancing


A music festival in Wisconsin dropped the name "COVID Herd Immunity Festival" amid backlash, but still plans to sell thousands of tickets to the July event as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The three-day festival, now dubbed the "July Mini Fest," is scheduled to take place from July 16 through 18 at the outdoor Q & Z Expo Center in Ringle, Wisconsin, according to the venue's Facebook page. Ringle is located in Marathon County, roughly 80 minutes west of Green Bay.

The festival will feature performances by 15 bands including Sponge, Blacktop Mojo, Bobaflex, Versus Me, Static-X and more.

In a now-deleted Facebook post last month, organizers reportedly wrote a justification for holding the festival, even as large-scale events across the country and around the world announce cancellations to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

"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," the post read, according to multiple reports.

Nonpoint, one of the groups previously scheduled to perform, tweeted a response Wednesday to a fan upset about its participation in the festival, indicating that the band would no longer be participating.

"Nonpoint is not playing because of the way the festival is named. We have dropped off," the tweet reads.

An hour later, the Expo Center posted on Facebook that event organizers would no longer be using the "Herd Immunity" name and that ticket sales would be limited to allow for social distancing.

"For the record the venues land can accommodate up to 10,000 occupancy," the post reads. "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."

A three-day pass to the event costs $105.50, the event's Facebook page says.

The festival will take place as public health experts warn against large-scale events to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The 2020 Wisconsin State Fair was canceled last month due to the pandemic, and the Democratic National Committee announced Wednesday that its convention - scheduled for August in Milwaukee - would be significantly downsized.

Wisconsin has seen a total of 25,763 confirmed coronavirus cases and 757 deaths since the pandemic began, state health officials say.

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