It seemed like 2016 was shaping up to be the worst year of this still-fledgling century. Just 10 days into it, we lost David Bowie. Severus Snape followed four days later and, just when those aches had dulled a bit, Prince was gone, too. Then, we had that presidential election, when at least 65,853,514 voters were helpless to do anything except watch Wolf Blitzer in stunned silence.
But then, 2020 rolled in with its terrifying new illness, with tear gas and police batons and U.S. citizens being disappeared into unmarked vans, and with murder hornets that have, so far, proven to be a tremendous disappointment. In keeping with the year's overall vibe, a South Dakota motorcycle and music festival has put together what might be the most depressing concert lineup of all time, bringing together several bands you haven't listened to since you stopped huffing paint, and also Quiet Riot.
The Sturgis Buffalo Chip has announced the performers for its concert series, and this year's attendees have been promised a multi-day lineup that kicks off on Friday, August 7 with Hank Rotten, Jr. (who, according to the website, is best known for a song called "Sleepin' With My Butt to the Wall") and Molly Hatchet. The next several nights feature sets from Smash Mouth, Trapt, Buckcherry, and Drowning Pool and, after those Four Horsemen of the Shitpocalypse make their respective appearances, the event wraps up with Quiet Riot and Reverend Horton Heat.
This is the Sturgis motorcycle rally's 80th year and the organizers had originally anticipated a record-breaking crowd… and they also thought there might be some slightly bigger names printed on the Buffalo Chip concert posters. Last November, Sturgis Buffalo Chip revealed a festival lineup that included Willie Nelson & Family, ZZ Top, REO Speedwagon, and, um, Puddle of Mudd.
Despite losing literally all of his headliners, Rod 'Woody' Woodruff, the founder of the Buffalo Chip, is still optimistic. "We are gonna have quite a few people here, not nearly as many as everybody would have expected, but we are gonna have a lot of people here and they’re all coming to have a good time and to see friends that they haven’t seen in probably for a year," he told NewsCenter1.
As far as pandemic-related safety measures go, the Buffalo Chip website says that staff members will be "reminding guests to remain socially distant, encouraging the use of face coverings and explaining recommendations from the CDC to help prevent the spread of COVID-19." During the concerts, attendees will be required "to have a mask with them," but that seems to imply that actually wearing said mask won't be required or enforced.
The official attendance at last year's Sturgis rally was an estimated 490,000 people, and attendees had an average age of 54. Last month, the Sturgis City Council surveyed the residents of the city about this year's event and 60 percent of the respondents said that they wanted it to be postponed due to coronavirus.
Instead, the show is going ahead and the Buffalo Chip website promises that ticketholders will be getting "the best concerts of 2020." That might prove to be accurate, if only because all of the other shows—the good shows—have been cancelled.