Thursday, June 25, 2020

Rock band Sponge is playing controversial 'Herd Immunity' festival in Wisconsin next month

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 10:16 AM

click to enlarge Sponge in 2008. - JOEDAMADMAN, WIKIMEDIA CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Joedamadman, Wikimedia Creative Commons
  • Sponge in 2008.

A Wisconsin music festival originally billed as a "Herd Immunity Festival" set for next month changed its name after backlash due to coronavirus safety concerns, with a number of bands dropping out.

Michigan alt-rock veterans Sponge are not one of them.

The band posted the flyer for the festival to its Facebook page Thursday morning. Frontman Vinnie Dombroski confirmed to Metro Times that the band is in fact still playing.

The three-day event takes place July 16th-18th at an outdoor stage at the Q&Z Expo Center in Ringle, Wisconsin.

Michigan rock band Kaleido was also booked, but dropped off the bill.

"Kaleido will no longer be a part of the Wisconsin Music Festival titled 'Herd Immunity Festival," the band wrote on Facebook. "We do not want to put our fans at risk in a county with rising infection rates, we thank you for understanding."

Florida rock band Nonpoint also dropped off the bill. "As soon as the band saw [that] they changed the title of Fest to 'Herd Immunity Fest,' they dropped off," the band's management told Consequence of Sound.

After changing the name to "3 Day Mini Fest," festival organizers defended the event.

"For the record the venues land can accommodate up to 10,000 occupancy," the organizers wrote on Facebook. "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."

Tickets for the festival are $105.50 on

In April, Sponge was selling "Shelter in Place 2020" merch featuring the illustration on the cover of its 1994 certified Gold record Rotting Piñata modified to be wearing a face mask.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down its state's stay-at-home order in May, declaring it to be "unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable." Coronavirus cases are rising in many states, including Wisconsin.

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