/ Hodag Country Festival: The Ultimate Music & Camping Experience

Hodag Country Festival: The Ultimate Music & Camping Experience

Photo Credit: Discover Mediaworks

Located in the heart of the Northwoods, Rhinelander, Wisconsin holds the all-time summer event you won’t want to miss–Hodag Country Festival! From top-notch entertainment by world-famous country stars, annual traditions that make Hodag special, and an all around unforgettable experience, it’s bound to be a blast. Read more and join in on this unique community celebration.

Enjoying the Entertainment

Photo Credit: Discover Mediaworks

Each year, country music entertainers roll into the quaint town of Rhinelander for the one and only Hodag Country Festival. When Hodag time comes around, the town more than doubles in size as locals and visitors alike gather in to watch the top stars in country music mixed with past legends  as they hit the stage.

Many big names have appeared on stage like Garth Brooks, Darius Rucker, Eric Church and Willie Nelson, to name a few. They each make a point to introduce themselves to the crowd and are welcomed with a resounding hello. Every entertainer loves to play at Hodag because of how fun and friendly the festival is.

While the stage hosts the main event, nearby, the Pavilion holds its own exciting entertainment by up-and-coming artists and regional musicians. Discover Wisconsin had the opportunity to meet The Brady Luke Band last year as they entertained the Pavilion audience during one of the nights.  The Brady Luke Band has been able to come back multiple years to perform. The Pavilion is the area that the audience can visit in between the shows and ending the night with the perfect close.

Embracing the Annual Traditions

Photo Credit: Discover Mediaworks

Hodag Country Festival, now one of the most unique and popular country music festivals in Wisconsin, first began in 1978. There were only about 300 people that attended the first event who watched big name country stars perform on the original stage–a hay wagon. What started as a show they didn’t think would last has grown to reach over 25,000 visitors each year.

Throughout the years, Hodag has been passed down from the first generation, who created the concept, to the second generation that has kept the many established traditions alive. So you may be wondering, what makes Hodag so special?

Hodag is one-of-a-kind set in the inviting community of Rhinelander, Wisconsin. The festival is unique carrying on many cherished traditions including the chair line lottery. Visitors are able to spin a wheel for a specific color to determine where they will be able to set their chairs for all the shows, which gives everyone a chance at front row seats. There’s no VIP’s at Hodag, giving everyone a shot to get up close to the country stars. In addition, Hodag takes pride in their affordability, allowing carry-in beverages of your choice (just no glass). It doesn’t get any better!

An Unforgettable Experience

Photo Credit: Discover Mediaworks

All-in-all, Hodag Country Festival is an exuberant experience like never before. With over 25,000 people gathered together, there's an encompassing energy that radiates throughout the venue. This year, hear the music of amazing artists including HARDY, Tyler Hubbard, Dylan Scott, LOCASH, Maddie & Tae, and many more! Not only are you surrounded by great people and enjoying live country music, but you have the opportunity to set up camp to take it all in.

Camping allows you to experience everything Hodag has to offer. You will see returning people in the same spot year after year, which adds to the comradery of the event. Everyone becomes friends and family, making Hodag the ultimate annual reunion. Unreserved campsites are available July 1st when the grounds first open. 

The Hodag experience is truly what the event is all about, making memories and friendships with people you never could’ve met otherwise. Newcomers are blown away that such an experience lies right in the quaint community of Rhinelander and keeps them coming back for more. 

Summertime is hard to beat in the Northwoods with such a sensational event like Hodag Country Festival! Make it your new tradition and enjoy the best of country music entertainment, embrace the long-lasting annual traditions, and gain an unforgettable experience. This year, join in on this unique community celebration right in Rhinelander, Wisconsin! Head to for more details and grab your tickets here.

See a sneak peek of the event for yourself by watching Discover Wisconsin’s original short ‘Ultimate Wisconsin Music & Camping Experience: Hodag Country Festival’ now:

Hailey Rose: Writer for Discover Mediaworks. A born & bred Wisconsinite with a love for fishing, hunting, and enjoying the great outdoors.

*Narration provided by Wondervox.

From the team at Discover Wisconsin: We believe in making our content accessible to all, which is why we offer an audio version of our blog posts. By clicking the play button above, you can listen to our blogs!

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