WE Fest, the Detroit Lakes-based country music festival that drew crowds upwards of 50,000 people per day at its peak, has announced via social media that it will return to its home at the Soo Pass Ranch in August 2021.
The dates announced are Aug. 5-7.
The festival took a one-year hiatus after it was sold in 2019 to Live Nation.
Townsquare Media, a Connecticut-based media company, purchased the Detroit Lakes festival in 2014 for $21.5 million in cash, along with stock and other considerations.
On Aug. 6, 2019, days after the 37th annual festival concluded, Townsquare Media CEO Bill Wilson announced the $10 million sale of about 200 events, including WE Fest, to Live Nation.
- Local fans raise a toast to commemorate what would have been WE Fest's opening night
- WE Fest 2020 canceled, and Detroit Lakes ponders a summer without its signature event
- WE Fest among events sold to Live Nation
By canceling the 2020 festival, and giving themselves an extra 12 months to plan, Live Nation says it hopes to get a better handle on what fans want (and don't want) to see, what the community's expectations are, what has worked in the past and what hasn't — and how all that fits in with their own expertise in running music festivals across the country.
"It is our intention to restore WE Fest to its proper place nationally, and locally, as a premier festival," said Brian O'Connell, president of country touring for Live Nation and creator of its Country Nation festivals, in an August 2019 interview. "Hopefully, it will last another 37 years. That's our goal."
O'Connell also noted that Live Nation wants to be "as transparent as possible" with regard to its future plans for WE Fest, in order to minimize unfounded rumors and speculation about where the festival is headed.