2015 Summer Festival Round Up

Musicians perform at the Red Ants Pants Music Festival in White Sulphur Springs, July 2011.

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The Red Ants Pants Music Festival in White Sulphur Springs announced Thursday morning that the 2020 festival will be postponed until July 2021 because of health and safety concerns due to COVID-19. 

"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," said Sarah Calhoun, Red Ants Pants Foundation founder and executive director in a press release.

This year's festival was to be the 10th iteration of the Americana festival, which draws in fans from around the state and nation to a working cattle ranch in Meagher County. As of Thursday morning, the county had identified one case of COVID-19. 

"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," said Calhoun. "We know a global pandemic doesn't stop at the county line." 

The music festival grew out of Calhoun's women's work apparel company, Red Ants Pants. According to the release, the company's personnel are in talks with "multiple entities" to decide if and how it can manufacture personal protective equipment to help fill the immediate need in Montana and the United States.

The music festival is the main fundraiser for the Red Ants Pants Foundation, which has funded various girls leadership programs, women's timber skills trainings, and has donated more than $110,000 in community grants over the past decade. 

The lineup for this summer's festival was to be announced on Saturday. Instead, the festival will be holding a special Facebook event with messages from Calhoun and past festival performers on Saturday, beginning at 7p.m. 

"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," Calhoun said. 

The 10th Red Ants Pants Music Festival is now scheduled for July 22-25, 2021, in White Sulphur Springs. 

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Melissa Loveridge can be reached at mloveridge@dailychronicle.com or at (406) 582-2651. 

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