By Shereen Siewert

Two days after being granted a permit by Oneida County that would have allowed the event, the Hodag Country Festival organization announced they will postpone holding their annual music festival until 2021.

On the organization’s official page, organizers said the decision was made in the best interest of the community and dedicated festival attendees.

The 43rd annual Hodag Country Festival is now set for July 8-11, 2021.

“Although our entertainers, vendors, and many fest-goers were still hoping to participate in this year’s festival, we feel the safety of our community is more important,” the post reads.

On Tuesday, Oneida County officials granted the festival event permit with about two dozen additional safety precautions and rules to keep concertgoers safe. Attendance would have been severely limited for the festival, which typically draws about 50,000 people each year to Rhinelander.

“The possibility of having the Hodag Country Festival has created stress and division in the Rhinelander area, and we are sincerely apologetic for this,” the post goes on to read. “It was never our intent. The festival has always been about community.”

Tickets and camping permits for 2020 should be retained. Organizers will email and post instructions to request a refund or rollover for 2021.

Several artists, including Darius Rucker and others, have already committed to appearing in 2021.

This is the latest in a string of postponements announced this week for major events statewide, including the Wisconsin State Fair and the Bull Falls Blues Fest.