Herd Immunity Fest Changes Name After Backlash

July Mini Fest
– July Mini Fest

The Electric Blockaloo isn’t the only festival that’s rebranded itself this week. Herd Immunity Fest in Ringle, Wis., is now known as the “July Mini Fest” after attracting a slew of negative attention for its name, including Nonpoint backing out from performing. 

Herd immunity “refers to a point at which so many people gain immunity to a virus, either through natural infections or vaccinations, that the overall risk of new infections becomes very low,” according to LiveScience.com. Presumably, the joke with the festival was that attendees in close quarters at the event would purposely catch COVID-19 and thus gain immunity – a direct contrast to the rest of the music industry which has shut down mass gatherings in hopes of fans avoiding passing along the coronavirus.    

The July 16-18 event at the Q&Z Expo Center in Ringle features 15 bands including Static-X, Adelitas Way, Dope, Bobaflex, Versus Me and Thunderstruck. 

Powerman 5000 frontman Spider One took to social media to call out some of the bands on the lineup, tweeting June 23, “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 replied June 24, “Hey brother. Nonpoint is not playing because of the way the festival is named. We have dropped off.”

The festival has since abandoned the name and posted updates on social media assuring fans that the capacity for the festival had taken social distancing into consideration.  

“For the record the venues land can accommodate up to 10,000 occupancy,” the festival posted on Facebook June 24. “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.”

Another post referenced the backlash over the original name and declared, “Enough with the media hype and back to the show! This is going to be an awesome 3 days of rock. Tickets keep selling and are not stopping. See you at the show!!”

Three-day passes are priced at $105.50, including overnight parking, and available via Eventbrite. Single-day tickets are not being sold.

Wisconsin has 25,763 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 and 757 deaths, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services as of June 24. Wisconsin Public Radio reports “22 counties in the state have a ‘high’ COVID-19 activity level – a designation based on a county’s number of cases per 100,000 residents over the past 14 days, and the extent to which that case rate is increasing.” Marathon country, which includes Ringle, is listed as high activity
The county has 130 positive cases, with 6,125 confirmed negative cases and 1 resident death, according to the Marathon County Health Department