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New event promoter takes over former Country/Rock USA grounds

Country USA 2019 is officially underway in Oshkosh. July 28, 2019 (WCWF/ Beni Petersen)

(WLUK) -- Music will return to the former grounds of Country USA and Rock USA.

Los Angeles-based live event promoter and producer, Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP), announced it has signed a new, long-term lease with the property owners of the former Ford Festival Park site in Oshkosh.

The 200-acre piece of land, renamed Ford Park Live, was home to the music festivals owned and operated by Hypervibe before it filed for bankruptcy last year.

DWP says it was been working closely with the city of Oshkosh, Winnebago County and the town of Nekimi to formalize plans for a fresh venue concept on the property.

Amy Albright with Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau says this is great news for the city.

"I think we're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and this is a big bright shining light that is coming to Oshkosh," said Albright.

The Oshkosh tourism industry saw a revenue loss of about $250 million in 2020.

Part of that loss, because of Country USA and Rock USA.

"Of course the cancellations of Country USA and Rock USA , and the bankruptcy was all very tough on consumers. It was tough on our community," said Albright.

DWP is looking to come in and focus on bringing live music back to Oshkosh.

"We don't really have anything to do with the past there and we certainly get it and people may have feelings towards a certain way, but our focus is really on the future," said Joe Litvag, President of Live Events with DWP.

DWP plans to host a few concerts at the park this summer. More information will be announced in the coming weeks and months.

"Our plan this year is to really stick our foot in the water and do a few of these socially distant shows in the summer," said Litvag.

They want to build in the years to come. And return to being a venue that once hosted thousands of people enjoying music.

"2022 the idea is to build on that and do a series of stand alone concerts which could be a night or couple nights. In addition, we're looking to hopefully bring some new festival brands," said Litvag.

Overall, DWP wants to bring live music safely back to people. Especially after a year like this.

Danny Wimmer Presents hosts 10 other annual festivals in cities across the country. It says Ford Park Live is one of multiple new locations.


Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that Hypervibe owned the festivals, not the venue.