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Chippewa Valley Festivals, Music and Event Venues Get $1.85M Lifeline

10 local entities among state COVID-19 grant recipients

V1 Staff |

County Fest
Each summer for more than 30 years (except for 2020, of course) County Fest has drawn thousands of fans to rural Cadott.

Ten Chippewa Valley music venues, event venues, and music festivals will receive part of $15 million in grants just announced by Gov. Tony Evers. 

Evers said Thursday that $15 million in COVID-19 Live Music and Entertainment Venue Grants have been awarded to 96 venues around the state. The grants aim to provide financial stabilization to Wisconsin’s live entertainment and large meeting venues, which were among the first small businesses to feel dramatic negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chippewa Valley-based entities received a total of $1.85 million. Among them were Country Jam USA, which holds a musical festival each summer just outside Eau Claire, and Chippewa Valley Music Festivals Inc., which operates Country Fest and Rock Fest outside Cadott. Each company received $395,000.  The Confluence Council, which operates the Pablo Center at the Confluence in Eau Claire, received $362,000.

“We know large gatherings of people in small spaces can be a catalyst for spread, which is why our folks in the live music and entertainment industry have been doing their part to help keep their communities and people safe,” Evers said in a press release. “These changes haven’t been easy, but these venues have worked to be good partners throughout this process. We hope these funds can provide critical support and stabilization to help them get through until we can all gather safely and enjoy entertainment together again.”

Grants are funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. More information about this program can be found here, and a full list of recipients statewide can be found here

The following Chippewa Valley organizations received grants:

Chippewa Valley Music Festivals, Inc. – Cadott $395,308
Chippewa Valley Cultural Association, Inc. – Chippewa Falls $35,298
Blue Ox Music Festival – Eau Claire $170,209
Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild – Eau Claire $34,949
Confluence Council, Inc. – Eau Claire $362,287
Country Jam USA, Inc. – Eau Claire $395,308
Eau Claire Children's Theatre – Eau Claire $29,261
The Florian Gardens Conference Center – Eau Claire $262,805
The Plus, The Metro, The Rev, The Venue – Eau Claire $147,670
Mabel Tainter Literary, Library, and Educational Society – Menomonie $26,420