The 80th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Meade County in South Dakota, a week-long merging of a motorcycle rally and music, is on for Aug. 7 through Aug. 16. Masks and social distancing is encouraged but not required for the rally, but masks will be mandatory in the amphitheater at the Buffalo Chip campgrounds on location where performances from a number of rock bands — Trapt, Smash Mouth, Buckcherry, Lit, Quiet Riot, and more — will take place.

"The Sturgis Buffalo Chip says they're moving forward with business as usual," said a NewsCenter1 telecast on July 15. "With concerts and bike shows the Chip is going to offer the same entertainment in years past and despite COVID-19 organizers saying there won't be any mask or social distancing requirements," the coverage continued.

Following the surge in coronavirus cases around the United States, the Buffalo Chip has issued a July 22 update regarding safety precautions that will be taken. "Guests will be required to have a mask with them when they enter the amphitheater," states one bullet point. "Attendants will be stationed at designated restroom and shower facilities to clean toilet and shower stalls after each use," another precaution outlined.

Concerts will be held all throughout the rally and, on the rock side, will feature Molly Hatchet, The Guess Who, Adelitas Way, Smash Mouth, Trapt, Night Ranger, Saving Abel, Buckcherry, Drowning Pool, Lit, 38 Special, Quiet Riot and Reverend Horton Heat.

See the complete concert schedule for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally below.

More than half of the states in the country have face mask mandates when in public, but South Dakota is not one of them. The state has recorded a total of 8,077 positive COVID-19 cases as of July 23, with 119 deaths documented according to DOH.SD.gov.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is held on the first Friday of each August for a total of 10 days and was founded in 1938, originally hosting stunts and races. In decades since, it has grown into a major draw, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and attracting hundreds of thousands of guests.

Per Wikipedia, attendance peaked in 2015 at 739,000 people and then dropped significantly the following two years with an estimated attendance of over 450,000 in 2016 and ticked up the next year at 480,000. The South Dakota Department of Transformation noted 506,000 guests last year.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has repeatedly urged the American public to adopt the use of face masks in public to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

"We are not defenseless against COVID-19," said CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield. "Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities."

2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Concert Lineup

Aug. 07 — Molly Hatchet
Aug. 08 — The Guess Who, Adelita's Way
Aug. 09 — Smash Mouth, Trapt
Aug. 10 — Night Ranger, Saving Abel
Aug. 11 — Buckcherry
Aug. 12 — Drowning Pool, Lit
Aug. 13 — 38 Special
Aug. 14 — Quiet Riot
Aug. 15 — Reverend Horton Heart

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