Winstock, traditionally the first country music festival of the season in Minnesota, won't be first this year.
The little country fest that could has postponed its 2021 dates from early June to Aug. 20-21 in Winsted, Minn.
Not only will Winstock not be first this year, it will follow the long-standing We Fest in Detroit Lakes on Aug. 5-7 and the country-dominated Twin Cities Summer Jam in Shakopee on July 22-24. In fact, Winstock will take place the weekend before the scheduled start of the Minnesota State Fair.
"By gaining over two months, we can work toward a safer event for guests, artists, volunteers and our community," Winstock committee chair Dave Danielson said in a statement. "COVID has hit us hard, and we want to make every effort possible to have a normal Winstock and a great celebration for everyone."
Despite rescheduling, Winstock will boast a strong lineup. As previously scheduled, Luke Combs will headline on Saturday Aug. 21. Darius Rucker, an original headliner for June, had a conflict in late summer, so the top-billed act for Aug. 20 will be Sam Hunt.
In November, Combs won two Country Music Association Awards, including album of the year for "What You See Is What You Get."
Hunt made a big splash with his 2014 debut album and the smash 2017 single "Body Like a Dirt Road." He didn't release his sophomore album, "Southside," until 2020.
Winstock's Friday lineup will feature Chris Janson, Runaway June and Drew Baldridge.
Saturday's program will include Brett Eldridge, Big & Rich with Cowboy Troy, Shenandoah and Phil Vassar.
A fundraiser for Winsted's Holy Trinity Catholic School held at the town's airport, Winstock celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018. The festival was not held last year due to the COVID pandemic; Combs and Rucker were the scheduled headliners in 2020.
Tickets are on sale at winstockfestival.com.
Some other big Upper Midwest shows scheduled for spring and summer have either been postponed until next year (Kenny Chesney, Rock the Garden) or rescheduled for fall (Milwaukee's massive Summerfest in September). Basilica Block Party, usually set for early July, is considering a delay until fall.
There have been no announcements about the status of four Minneapolis stadium concerts: Def Leppard on July 8 and George Strait on July 31 at U.S. Bank Stadium and Guns N' Roses on July 16 and Green Day on Aug. 11 at Target Field.
Twitter: @JonBream • 612-673-1719