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Going to Blue Ox? Get a Shot or a Test, Organizers Say

upcoming Blue Ox Music Festival one of a growing number of fests with COVID-related requirements

V1 Staff, photos by Mike O'Brien |

VACCINE SCENE. The stage at the 2017 Blue Ox Music Festival outside Eau Claire.
VACCINE SCENE. The stage at the 2017 Blue Ox Music Festival outside Eau Claire.

The annual Blue Ox Music Festival is stepping up precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 among fans at the Aug. 19-21 gathering at the Pines Music Park just outside Eau Claire.

This week, festival organizers announced that attendees will have to show either proof that they’re vaccinated against the coronavirus or show a recent negative COVID-19 test result.

In an online announcement, the festival said the decision was made in consultation with health officials and with the “safety of the artists, crew, attendees of the event, and our community” in mind.

“Blue Ox Music Festival is fortunate to be an outdoor event taking place across 120 acres which creates a safer environment to enjoy live music,” the statement noted. “Yet, we must all acknowledge that there is still a risk of exposure to COVID-19 at a gathering of people, and by attending, you assume the risk of exposure to the virus.”

Blue Ox joins a growing list of festivals will similar requirements.Among them are Summerfest, Milwaukee’s massive musical gathering, which runs the first three weekends of September, and Bonnaroo in Tennessee, which begins Sept. 2.

Here’s the post (and a link to further information) from the Blue Ox website:

UPDATED COVID-19 SAFETY

Here at the Blue Ox Music Festival and The Pines Music Park, the safety of the artists, crew, attendees of the event, and our community are very important to us. As a result, we are following the path of the current COVID-19 pandemic closely, with careful consideration of the Delta variant that is currently moving throughout the country. Our team is staying informed from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Eau Claire City and County Health Department, as well as solutions coming out of the music industry itself.

Blue Ox Music Festival is fortunate to be an outdoor event taking place across 120 acres which creates a safer environment to enjoy live music. Yet, we must all acknowledge that there is still a risk of exposure to COVID-19 at a gathering of people, and by attending, you assume the risk of exposure to the virus.

After careful consideration and informed discussions, with all parties involved, the 2021 Blue Ox Music Festival has decided that we must move forward with the following requirement of all attendees:

A RECENT NEGATIVE COVID-19 TEST RESULT

[ANTIGEN OR PCR]

– OR –

PROOF OF VACCINATION UPON ENTRY.

You can find all the COVID-19 safety information here.

The lineup for this year’s Blue Ox features a host of stars from bluegrass, Americana, and related genres, including Pert Near Sandstone, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Shakey Graves, Sam Bush Band, and many more. Click here for ticket info.