Former Rock USA, Country USA venue now under new event promotion company

Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 5:10 PM CDT
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - Action 2 News first reported last year that the company in charge of the Rock and Country USA music festivals filed for bankruptcy, ending the longtime events.

Now, a new event promoter is taking over the former Ford Festival Park in Oshkosh.

“A company out of L.A., working with us in Oshkosh, we are excited,” said Amy Albright, Executive Director of the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP) has taken over the 200-acre piece of land, renaming it “Ford Park Live” with plans of bringing new life to the venue.

“We look forward to putting down roots there and hopefully being there for a long, long time and being an incredible long-term live event destination for the community,” said DWP’s President of Live Entertainment Joe Litvag.

He says they know the legacy the former festival had and that some fans were disappointed with the way it came to an end, which left many struggling to get refunds on their tickets. But they believe DWP’s way of running live events will work well in the Oshkosh venue.

“We don’t do anything halfway. We do everything first class. We understand that it all comes down to trust and because of things that have happened in the past, which obviously we had nothing to do with, and are sympathetic to that situation,” said Litvag. “We know that we have the responsibility of earning the fans trust again and that’s what we intend to do.”

Amy Albright with the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau says the loss of events like Country and Rock USA has been a big hit to the local economy, so it’s nice to see tables turn.

“Seeing events coming back to town is just very exciting and I know that our local economy will be very excited about it, too,” sad Albright.

She’s looking forward to what this new company will usher in.

“It’ll be interesting to see the kinds of things they think about, trying to bring to our area,” said Albright. “Maybe they’ll be completely different than what we’ve had before which is always fun.”

Litvag says they hope to host some concerts this summer, with safety protocols in place.

“The last thing we’re going to do is compromise people’s safety,” said Litvag. “But, at the same time, we’re trying very hard to do what we can to bring live music back to the community as quickly as possible.”

He hopes to bring more events and larger music festivals next year.

“Our vision is we want to have a more frequent event site,” said Litvag. “So, we want to have the ability to do individual concerts, like we’re going to attempt to do a few of those this summer, we want to do more of those next summer. And we also want to bring some festival concepts back to the property as well.”

It’s a nice change of tune for a community that’s been missing it’s big-draw events.

“We’re definitely turning a corner and, you know, the light is getting brighter and brighter at the end of that tunnel and we’re good with that,” said Albright.

Litvag says people can expect some “positive announcements” within the next few weeks. People can keep up with announcements at or on Ford Park Live’s Facebook page.

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