Riot Fest announces new location and issues a statement: "Simply, we were duped"

Categories: Music Festivals

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Aaron Thackeray
A fan at Riot Fest last year in Byers
After being denied special-use permits required by Arapahoe County, Riot Fest has moved its 2014 festival from May Farms outside Byers to Sports Authority Field at Mile High in downtown Denver. The dates (September 19 to 21) and schedule (see below) are unchanged. Previously purchased tickets will be honored as-is, and camping refunds will be issued starting today. Riot Fest will also offer free parking.

In addition to announcing the new location, the festival has issued a lengthy statement on the entire ordeal, including a letter from founder Mike Petryshyn. In it, he passionately expresses his connection with the family who owns May Farms and his anger at the County's decision. "And we all know if we were named Good Ole Country Riot Fest, we would have never been in this situation," it ends. You can read the whole thing below.

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

Riot Fest plans to lay down turf on the Sports Authority parking lot and go ahead with its planned carnival. It also plans to "recreate May Farms" in the shadow of the stadium by "bringing all the things people love about May Farms (tractors, hay bales, etc) together with all the things to love about a country fair (rides, a pie eating contest, apple bobbing and more). Even the stages and vendor rows have been renamed to indicate Riot Fest's support of Byers, Colorado."

Some of those changes, including the renamed stages (Byers American Feed and Supply Stage, Byers General Store Stage, May Farms Stage and The Whatever Store Stage) can be seen in the illustration below.

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Riot Fest also announced an unusual partnership with the town of Byers, detailed in the release:

• Any Byers resident who wants to come to Riot Fest this year will receive complimentary tickets as well as free daily shuttle service to and from May Farms and Sports Authority Field. Details will be announced next week on how residents can sign-up for this.

• Riot Fest will also allow several Byers businesses and other I-70 Corridor businesses who supported them free vending space at no cost.

• Riot Fest has also announced a $5,000 scholarship to be awarded to one graduating senior who plans on majoring in music, arts, business or marketing. Riot Fest has now asked other partners, industry friends and other Colorado businesses to contribute in hopes of getting that scholarship up to $20,000.

The festival plans to appeal Arapahoe County's decision.

Statement from Riot Fest Founder Mike Petryshyn

Before I begin what will probably be a long-winded concerto of a statement, it has to be stated with deafening clarity that we wanted to make Byers, Colorado our home for Riot Fest for years to come. It's a community we care about tremendously, just like Humboldt Park, in Chicago and just to pack up and watch the town disappear in our rear window is not an option.

In just over a year, we became part of the May Family and Gary, Stacie and their children became part of ours... the relationship is beyond normal kinship. And, I wish I wasn't hunting for words in describing the bond between our two families -- a perfectly succinct account for the fans. But, it's hard enough writing about the Mays and the deeper I dig to find words, the harder it becomes to explain. There's no defense mechanism for this one to hide or bury inside a wrinkle... I'm just tremendously sad.

At the same time, I am utterly incensed. Elementary ideological forces and manipulation veiled in contradictory legal jargon prevented us from coming back to May Farms this year. Simply, we were duped. 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. I cannot fathom that in 2014 certain social mores grounded in revulsion and irrationality, of course, by a limited howling few, can inflict such harm in a town or in a county. It's disgusting and these people should feel ashamed. I will refrain from commenting any more on these matters, but, with complete conviction and certitude, more will come to light and all fans will know what precisely transpired.

The statement continues on the next page, where you'll also find the festival's schedule.


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116 comments
Jeff Cook
Jeff Cook

BS - you don't manage something of this magnitude without having your ducks in a row.

Kurt Weißner
Kurt Weißner

throw a riot in your 90's punk come back in salt lake city. riot on where people care.

Zeb'n Rachel
Zeb'n Rachel

Jenn McGinnis Brigham I think you posted about this?

Troy Channell
Troy Channell

Could be better, but I think Riot Fest made the best decision they could. Frankly I can't wait for it and think Arapaho County let the majority of their residents down (added revenue = added/improved services) to appease the a loud minority.

Christian Wright
Christian Wright

I am very glad that Riot Fest is doing all the extras and supporting local business. I don't like the location though. Hot hard unforgiving asphalt sucks!

Deanna Angelo
Deanna Angelo

I think it's fascinating a nothing town nobody knew anything about and never would have seen my business for any particular reason couldn't get their acts together enough to sacrifice a whole week or twos worth of inconvenience to gain the obvious monetary boom to literally every cash taking business and then some. They deserve to be left in the pathetic dust of their nothingness. And it was muddy dirty and loud as fuck. So not punk rock how did any of you stand it?

Dina Boogie Godfrey
Dina Boogie Godfrey

Yeah the camping thing sucks, was looking forward to not having to drive home each night. It's a different experience completely when you camp at a festival versus leaving every evening. A real bummer. Does riot mike mean that he is appealing the decision for this year? Could it move back to May farms?

Travis Penman-Keever
Travis Penman-Keever

Total shit. No camping this was gonna be a mini vacation and now thanks to useless old people I have to use rtd for 3 days in a row because hotels are expensive

Aaron Stone
Aaron Stone

Very well delivered statement from Mike Petryshyn!

Dennis Huspeni
Dennis Huspeni

Just bought tix. Really dig the stand they're taking against Arapahoe County and how cool they are to Byers folks.

Josh Snow
Josh Snow

I think the ticket holders should sue Byers for discrimination!

Carlos Guerra
Carlos Guerra

anyone trynna sell their tickets let my know hahaa

Jonathan Aursland
Jonathan Aursland

The coolest part about riot fest was it being in byers.. Now it's just like warp tour. Pretty sad!

Cherish Mason Cordova
Cherish Mason Cordova

Well said..I am just sorry I will be missing both of them here and in chicago!

Andy Bender
Andy Bender

and Weezer is doing a whole album too, i just forget which one it is

Andy Bender
Andy Bender

yeah Slayer is performing their whole Reign in Blood album so i'm pretty much going 100% now

Jacqui Maes
Jacqui Maes

Steph Maes Andy Bender we should still go!

Wesley Williams
Wesley Williams

The founder of riot fest or any riot fest participant have got to be kidding themselves if they think this was a bad move.... Its clear Byers doesn't want it....I don't blame them people live there to be away from the city and the "bad" that comes with it so why would they want to bring it too their town. My parents are residents of Byers and they said it was a major inconvenience last year. They live literally as far across town as possible from may farms and could still hear the music like it was right outside their house. Not to mention the extreme mess may farms was left with after it was all said and done. I'm not trying to stereo type but honestly most of the concert goers that go to riot fest have no respect and don't give a shit about anyone but themselves.... The mess left at may farms after riot fest proves that as fact.

Nicolette Rae
Nicolette Rae

Tha'ts you.. go for it. Obviously you've never been to a FESTIVAL before.

Krista Kuhn
Krista Kuhn

The Cure is one of my all time favorite bands and I am missing them in concert because I'm in a wedding that weekend!!

Steve Stevenson
Steve Stevenson

Top 10 Reasons a paved parking lot might be better than a dirt farm: 10. No Dust! 9. No fucking sticker bushes! 8. Free Parking!!! (has nothing to do with dirt vs. asphalt) 7. It's not 60 miles one way from my house! 6. No dirt in my shoes! 5. No Fucking Dust!!!

Kevin Crona
Kevin Crona

Byers, CO wikipedia entry has been edited. "The racial makeup of the CDP was 95.94% White, 0.97% Native American, 1.30% from other races, and 1.78% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.89% of the population. 100.00% of the population is inbred hicks."

Jodi Perry
Jodi Perry

I'll take it, discounted of course.

Jodi Perry
Jodi Perry

May farms sucked! Why is everyone so bummed? Traffic was a bitch, it was a dust bowl the first day and a mud pit the second. Mile high is so much better.

Stephanie Soo
Stephanie Soo

When did punk rock start crying? Settle down, bring on the punk rock. You can wish in one and and shit in the other, let's see which fills first. I called the Wambulance but that shits filled with half of the babies crying about festivals. First world problems. Let's carry on now? Yeah?

bradleyqt
bradleyqt

They are laying down grass which will help. And September will hopefully be cooler than August.


PugsNotDrugs
PugsNotDrugs

@Wesley: This post is so illiterate. From what I gathered, YOU weren't even there. Your whole "trash" tantrum is also invalid. Are everyone's lawns in the beautiful (and i say that very loosely) town of Byers perfect? Far from it. From what I have seen, most people have recliners in their dirt lawns. So I apologize on behalf of May Farms for not having a pristine look for 3 days out of the year. The May's weren't inconvenienced by it, so why should some guy who knows people in Byers be inconvenienced? Why should you voice your parent's opinions?

babygirl
babygirl

My house was literally right next to the concert and the music didn't even sound like it was right outside of my house. No matter what kind of concert is held, there will be trash. You may not be trying to stereotype, but guess what? You did. It's not in Byers anymore. Your parent's side won. Yay! We live in a (continuously) dying town! :)

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