Riot Fest denied a permit by Arapahoe County to host festival in Byers

Categories: Music News

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Aaron Thackeray
A band performs at last year's Riot Fest.
UPDATE: Riot Fest's organizers announced plans on July 18 to move the festival to the grounds of Sports Authority Field. In addition, organizers said they would offer any Byers residents interested in attending Riot Fest free admission, as well as free shuttle service to the venue.

"Simply, we were duped," founder Mike Petryshyn said in a statement. "Certain groups, residents and so forth did not want YOU or US in their town, and there is something morally dishonest and unforgiveable with their actions. Sean and I have been mum throughout this entire ordeal, but that will stop today. We have officially filed an appeal with Arapahoe County as of this morning and, needless to say, we are doing this because we are in the right."

Riot Fest, which was scheduled take place this September in the small town of Byers, has been denied the temporary-use permit it would have needed to host the music festival and carnival as it had done last year. (This story has been updated below.)

Following a public hearing in which residents of Byers voiced their concerns with the three-day punk music festival's impact on the town, including safety, traffic and noise, Arapahoe County announced today that it won't grant the permit.

See also: Riot Fest returns to Denver September 19 to 21

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Aaron Thackeray
A fan at Riot Fest last year in Byers
The county released a full statement on their website earlier this morning, saying: "The decision to deny is based upon traffic impacts and public safety concerns that would adversely impact surrounding property owners."

Temporary-use permits are only granted if the applicant can prove the event "shall not adversely affect surrounding property owners and that off-street parking spaces are adequate and will not adversely impact surrounding areas."

While Riot Fest did provide a plan to decrease the negative impact on the area compared to last year, it was found insufficient based on public concerns.

Typically, the county doesn't hold public hearings for a temporary-use permit, but there was such demand from the local residents that one was conducted.

The organizers of Riot Fest can appeal the decision if they wish, says Arapahoe County spokeswoman Andrea Rasizer. "We did notify them of their right to appeal. They have ten calendar days to notify the zoning administration."

If they do, the case will be heard by the county's Board of Adjustment, an independent citizen review panel. The original decision was made by the zoning administrator.

But Riot Fest has released its own statement about the denial, saying it won't appeal and that it plans to move to another location in the Denver area: "Due to circumstances beyond our control and normal procedures for large scale events, Riot Fest will be moving to it's alternate location in the Denver area, to be announced early next week. Riot Fest & Sideshow is not cancelled. Tickets will be honored in the new location."

Westword will update this post when more information is available.

Several acts, including Primus, The Cure, Wu-Tang Clan and Slayer, had been scheduled to perform at the fest, September 19-21 at May Farms in Byers -- the same piece of private property where it was held last year. Byers is forty miles east of Denver.



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92 comments
stupdmunky1
stupdmunky1

If you allready paid for camping at may farms, you should  be able to get refunded. Im guesing the new location will also have onsite camping, or hoping anyway, because that was what made last years show so great.

Charlea Garrison
Charlea Garrison

Lets see tell everyone to pick up there trash dont mess with other peoples property or land and they wouldnt have denied the permit.... if everyone had a little more respect last yr and cleaned up there shit not park were there not supposed to and did fuck with the other land owners property there wouldnt be this problem

Maura Bryn
Maura Bryn

Hey Nick Rael and Anna Castano... Uh oh!

Nikol Werner
Nikol Werner

Aw :( no body wants dirty punks on their lawn :/ lol

Chad Nelan
Chad Nelan

Why are they able to sell tickets to an event they don't even have a location for?

Charles Erle
Charles Erle

They said last night on the news it's already found a new location in Colorado,

Brian Tate
Brian Tate

Arapahoe sucks anyways. Put it in civic center. Make it legit.

Brian Martinez
Brian Martinez

I was hoping for Dicks Sports field because that place is the shit or Adams County fairgrounds because it would be just a mile from my house lol

Jessica Gonzalez
Jessica Gonzalez

They're moving it to Denver... so I'm assuming it's in town but I've of course paid for a camp site already... so that's why I'm asking so they can consider people like me and find a place people can camp

Craig Hawkins
Craig Hawkins

Bandsintown says it's being moved to Boulder. We'll soon see if that's accurate.

Craig Hawkins
Craig Hawkins

Considering they haven't even announced a new location, I think it's impossible to answer that question.

Craig Hawkins
Craig Hawkins

They did the same thing last year. They didn't expect the town to turn on them this year.

Brian Martinez
Brian Martinez

They are not canceling it. It will be held at another location because Wu Tang Clan ain't nothing to fuck with.

Matt Pierce
Matt Pierce

They've already stated they have an alternate location planned.

Jesse Mann
Jesse Mann

they took our money without having a permit and will not offer refunds this whole thing is a joke

Jessica Gonzalez
Jessica Gonzalez

Is camping and shit still going to be available or am I going to have to pay for parking each day

Jessica Gonzalez
Jessica Gonzalez

Then unlike their page... it's simple and the problem is solved

Gina Ricciardi
Gina Ricciardi

are you worried about your incessant need to post the same articles 4-5 times a week? are you concerned about your complete lack of ability to find new stories on a regular basis? perhaps you should be.

Denver KushClub
Denver KushClub

Quick question. How was the festival advertised without a location confirmed?

Brian Martinez
Brian Martinez

I'm sure they will get it resolved to another location, but in the long term Denver probably won't see another show of this caliber for a long long time because of this. Many other Cities were begging for this show, Dallas, KC, St Louis, etc...... The fucking regressive hicks out east ruined it for us all.

Ben Rodriguez
Ben Rodriguez

How can riot fest be cancelled when Wu tang Clan is forever?

Angelica VonBeerstein
Angelica VonBeerstein

Why?! They said they were moving it... That it's NOT cancelled - just moved...

Septimius Prime
Septimius Prime

Wah wah wah waaaa... Fail! Glad I didn't pitch on that shit!

Leon Wilcox
Leon Wilcox

This is so dumb I'm pretty sure that is discrimination. Bring in a country event or religious event they would be all for it.

Liz Hatlas
Liz Hatlas

F appealing. Find the backup venue and give them the revenues. Fuck that county and their politics. They deserve nothing from this event.

Sean Norris
Sean Norris

That is some Fucking bullshit Megan Loisel

Megan Loisel
Megan Loisel

Sean Norris........our chance to see Rise Against is foiled..... :(

King Merf
King Merf

I fucking hate Arapahoe county.

Megan Haenny
Megan Haenny

Maybe they'll confirm permits before selling tickets next time.

Chris Lewis
Chris Lewis

Fuck that poor dumb town, I hope you burn to the ground!

Brandy Casaus
Brandy Casaus

No one wants to drive to Byers anyway!! Pick somewhere closer to town or in the mountains!!

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