Country Thunder Wisconsin announces July lineup, hours after Milwaukee's Summerfest postpones to September
Summerfest officials on Tuesday postponed the massive Milwaukee music festival to September, the second year in a row it's been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
But hours later, Country Thunder Wisconsin, taking place about 50 miles away in Twin Lakes, announced its 20-artist lineup for July 15 to 18 — just weeks after Summerfest's originally scheduled dates.
Country stars Blake Shelton, Kane Brown, Morgan Wallen and Dustin Lynch will headline each of the four nights. The lineup includes Russell Dickerson, Hardy, Clay Walker, Tanya Tucker, and Chicks With Hits, a supergroup featuring Terri Clark, Pam Tillis and Suzy Bogguss. Tickets and camping packages are available at countrythunder.com.
Country Thunder also announced lineups for its festivals in Arizona, Florida and Iowa on Tuesday. There was no information about coronavirus precautions on the Country Thunder Wisconsin website or in the lineup announcement on Facebook.
While vaccinations from coronavirus are under way, health experts have suggested the country may not meet the threshold of herd immunity until late summer. That's why festivals like Summerfest, Milwaukee's PrideFest, Governor's Ball in New York and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival have recently announced plans to shift to September and October.
But some larger festivals in Wisconsin have recently announced lineups for summer dates, including Country Fest in Cadott June 24 to 26 — Summerfest's original window — and Country Jam in Eau Claire July 15 to 17, and Rock Fest in Cadott, also on those dates.
Time will tell if these festivals will manage to proceed in the summer. The pandemic has been devastating for event producers, with nearly all major events in the country called off after the coronavirus crisis began last March. Neenah-based promoter Hypervibe, which ran the Country USA and Rock USA festivals in Oshkosh, filed for bankruptcy protection last year after those festivals were scrapped.
Besides the Country Thunder announcement for July, there's a new reason the lineup may turn heads. Morgan Wallen, who currently has the No. 1 album in the country, was caught on camera saying the N-word in a video that circulated Tuesday night. The country star said he was "embarrassed and sorry," but backlash has been swift, with Variety reporting that Cumulus Media, the second-biggest radio chain in the nation, was yanking Wallen's music from country station playlists.
Piet also talks concerts, local music and more on "TAP'd In" with Jordan Lee. Hear it at 8 a.m. Thursdays on WYMS-FM (88.9), or wherever you get your podcasts.