WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS — A popular Montana event has been canceled due to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns.
Organizers say the 2020 Red Ants Pants Music Festival has been called off following consultation with local health officials and the Red Ants Pants Foundation Board of Directors.
This summer would have marked the 10th festival, which is now scheduled for July 22 – 25, 2021.
The annual lineup release announcement was planned to take place on April 4 at 7 p.m. and will now be replaced with a special online Facebook event featuring a message from festival producer, Sarah Calhoun, along with several past festival performers who will join in as surprise guests. The music and messages can be viewed here starting at 7 p.m.
Red Ants Pants Foundation Executive Director Sarah Calhoun issued the following statement:
“It is with heavy hearts we have made a difficult, but we feel the most responsible decision to cancel the 2020 Red Ants Pants Music Festival in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are a homegrown, volunteer-driven festival based in a community of 900 people with the goal of bringing good folks together to celebrate rural Montana. While we are a small, tight-knit community, we know a global pandemic doesn’t stop at the county line.
To prioritize the health and safety of our hometown, fans, musicians, volunteers, and staff, we are pushing pause on the 2020 festival and will look forward to putting on our best festival ever in 2021.
Right now, we are turning our attention away from the logistics of planning a festival and instead toward finding ways, through the work of the Red Ants Pants Foundation, to help ease the strain of this pandemic.
As you may know, the festival is an offshoot of an apparel company, Red Ants Pants, which has been in discussions with multiple entities to determine whether the company’s Made in America manufacturing knowhow can help with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for front line workers.
We are continuing to monitor recommendations from the CDC and staying in close contact with our local authorities.
It is possible that the Red Ants Pants Music Festival will produce events such as barn or street dances in the interim, but we will ultimately assess those opportunities as conditions evolve, based on the health and safety of our fans and our community.
The heart of our decision is centered on you, our Red Ants Pants community, and ensuring we can collectively remain strong and connected for years to come.
Please save the date for the 10th Red Ants Pants Music Festival:
July 22 – 25, 2021!
Proceeds from the festival fuel the Red Ants Pants Foundation’s mission of increasing women’s leadership, supporting working family farms and ranches, and enriching rural communities.
We can’t wait to get the bands back together.”
The Red Ants Pants Music Festival is the primary annual fundraising event of the Red Ants Pants Foundation and its work to increase women’s leadership, support working family farms and ranches and enrich rural communities.
This year’s cancellation due to COVID-19 will have a significant impact on the organization and the foundation welcomes donations.
The Foundation’s Girls Leadership Program is continuing through remote workshops and the Timber Skills Workshop is still scheduled for September 10 – 13, 2020, according to a news release.