There’s a party at the Tumbleweed Dancehall goin’ on.
Despite pleas from the mayor of Stillwater, Oklahoma, and other other concerned residents, Weedstock Festival is officially a go this week.
Kicking off Thursday night with performances from Chris Colston, Giovannie & the Hired Guns, Shane Smith and the Saints and the Read Southall Band, the 3-day festival also features Parker McCollum, Flatland Cavalry, Kody West, Pecos & the Rooftops, Randy Rogers Band, William Clarke Green and more.
Naturally, a 3-day country music festival is going to draw concern from people in Stillwater, after all we still have a pandemic going on. And with Stillwater being the home of Oklahoma State University, there is also concern that festival-goers will return to class after the festival and possibly infect their classmates.
The mayor of Stillwater voiced his concern on Twitter, calling the festival a “really bad idea.”
Because it's outside the city limits, city officials have reached out to @TumbleweedOK management, talked with Payne Co Commissioners, Payne Co Health and others about this event. It is not the right time for thousands of people to gather for a 3-day music festival. https://t.co/UOTmPWEmpg
Weedstock has put a number a social distancing measures in places, including but not limited to a mask requirement, temperature checks, 6-foot distance signs, hand washing stations, masks and gloves for employees, group maximums and more.
However, they do caution that social distancing is not always going to be possible and that patrons are entering at their own risk.
An organizer for the event spoke with CNN regarding the festival:
“They have purchased thousands of dollars worth of personal protective equipment including mask, gloves and plexi-glass. We will have masks on hand for anyone arriving without a mask so that they can enter the festival. If someone refuses to wear a mask inside they will be asked to leave. We are doing more than what is required of us. College football is coming back and they have more people scheduled to attend than we do, so what is the difference? A college football stadium has less space to socially distance than we have at the festival.”
Obviously, there hasn’t been much live music at all this year, let alone very many festivals, so it’s not hard to see why people would be pumped to hear some good country music. But at the same time, a large group of college kids (presumably drinking some adult beverages) is a recipe for close contact and it doesn’t sound like there are going to be any kind of distance barriers in place, at least not explicitly mentioned. It just doesn’t bode well for minimizing the spread of the virus.
Either way, if you’re in Stillwater and going, let us know why in the comments. And likewise, if you’re pissed that they’re even having a festival right now, let us know why as well.