Q&Z ‘herd immunity’ music fest draws concern, outside media interest


A three-day music festival with promotional material that initially said “Herd Immunity Fest” is drawing national and local attention.

The festival, featuring a number of metal acts at the Q&Z Expo Center in Ringle, has drawn regional and national media attention and the concern of Marathon County Health Department officials.

Q&Z has now made clear that the name of the three-day outdoor festival, slated for July 16-18, is July Mini Fest. Initial posters said “Herd Immunity Fest” at the bottom.

Judy Burrows, public information officer for Covid-19 matters at the Marathon County Health Department, told City Pages that Marathon County has community spread and that health officials are concerned about all large gatherings in the area. Burrows says she plans to speak to Q&Z staff about the festival. Marathon County last week hit more than 100 cases and percentages of positive cases have begun to rise.

Organizations such as The Independent, Fast Company and Consequence of Sound have written about the festival so far. Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg told City Pages TMZ even contacted her about the story, despite the festival being in Ringle and not Wausau.

According to a post on the Q&Z Expo Center’s Facebook page, the outdoor capacity is 10,000 for the show and is only allowing 20% capacity to allow for social distancing. According to that post, the festival is not called Herd Immunity Fest and that terminology has been removed from all social media and promotion around the festival. An earlier poster for the fest had Mini Fest at the top, but Herd Immunity Fest at the bottom.

City Pages will be speaking with Q&Z owner this afternoon and will update this story.